B26.COM Guest Book Pages & Links

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Date:
12/31/2012
Time:
12:10 PM
 
My grandfather, Zdzislaw H. "Jim" Sobczynski and his B-26 named "Flounder Gus" was featured in a book called either Marauder Man or Marauder Men. After several hours of scouring the Internet, I have not been able to narrow my search to one or the other with any certainty.

I am hoping someone on the other end of this email address can help tell me which book it was.

Thanks!
Katie Sobczynski
 
Dear Katie: The book Marauder Men, An Account of the Martin B-26 Marauder was published in two editions -- the second edition is an expanded text. Copies, mostly used, can be found on amazon.com -- price varies from less than $100 to $250. Your grandfather had a copy so somewhere in your family there should be one.

I knew your grandfather as "Sob" and "Hank." During my life I have been impacted by a lot of great and good persons, your grandfather was one such person.

After I arrived in England (assigned to the 454th squadron of the 323rd Group), my first indoctrination flight was with your grandfather -- it was a formation flight and we were flying left wing. In U.S. training we had little formation exposure and your grandfather recognized that I was having difficulty holding a left wing position on a left turn. Calling me a few ugly names, he admonished me to get in position, I responded that I lost sight of the lead aircraft on the left turn and when that happened I backed away. His comment was to forget the lead aircraft and fly off the right wing aircraft, My response was, "What if he moves out of position?" His answer: "If you live long enough to get back on the ground, you get hold of him and cut off his balls." I think I included this experience and some other detail on your grandfather in the "Marauder Men" book. I have often said that it was "Hank" who really made me a pilot. He was admired by everyone.

The right wing man was a good friend and, once on the ground, I told him that on a left turn I would be flying off him and to absolutely hold position -- which he did. For some time he flew right wing and I flew left wing so close that we scared the hell out of the lead aircraft.

We had a lot of fun and good memories,

Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret)

Date:
12/31/2012
Time:
1:34 AM
 
My Grandfather, Harry Sontag, died on Saturday 12/29/12. He was 89. He flew in the b26 called the "swoose goose". His pilot was Julian Alexander. He flew in 65 missions and received at least 13 air combat medals. I will send you some photos. I'm trying to find information about his crew and plane. Any suggestions?

Date:
12/30/2012
Time:
5:47 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Lt. Clint Castleberry
Bomb Group:
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service: 2
Graduation Class: 1943
Class Location:
Comments: Castleberry finished 3rd in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 1942 as only a Freshman at Georgia Tech. He co-piloted "Dream Girl" out of Liberia which disappeared on Nov. 7, 1944 on a mission with one other Marauder. I welcome any additional information that anyone can provide about Castleberry and his ill-fated mission. Was any wreckage ever found? and what were the Group, Squadron, Plane Serial Number, Tail Number, etc.

Thank you.
 
MACR # 09925; DATE 441107; SQDN [blank]; GRP 1203AFBU; AF, ATC; A/c Type, B-26G; AAF s/n, 44-67866; Nickname [None listed]; A/c Cd Command Pilot, Deadwyler, Joe L Jr.; Action Code, KIA; MACR location, Isle de Orango; Time, 0930*; CTY, AFR ; KUJ # [blank]; KU location [blank]

Date:
12/30/2012
Time:
8:41 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Joseph J. Gondert
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557th
Years in service: 3
Graduation Class: Unk.
Class Location: Unk.
Comments: Hello, I am French, and I collect WW2 memorabilia. I have acquired a uniform 9th air force that belonged to Joseph Gondert. I am looking for any information about him. thank you in advance for your information. Thank you, Cedric

Date:
12/28/2012
Time:
3:20 PM
 
Arthur B Johnson 323 Bomb Group attached to the 1st Pathfinder Squadron. I flew 6 missions with the 323 rd before being transferred to the Pathfinder Sq., ended up with 48 missions. I became an instructor at Page Field in Ft. Myers Florida. In the fall of 1942. Moved to Avon park then to MacDill then to Lake Charles. Checked out in B 26s then overseas as replacement to the 323rd and finally to the 1st pathfinder sq. The only problem flying Pathfinder lead was the 88s always zeroed in on us. Crew included 1st Lt. Erwin R Paaske, co pilot; 1st Lt. David H Hill, navigator; 2nd Lt. William R Banks, bombardier; T/Sgt Joseph A Raff, engineer; T/ Sgt Paul E Price, radioman; and Sgt Ulyeses Karitis, tail gunner. Raff and Price were on their second tour having flown first tour with the 100th of the 8th Airforce.

Date:
12/20/2012
Time:
1:39 PM
 
Hello, I am a relative of William R 'Bill' Telesmanic, 320th Bomb Group, 444th Bomb Squadron. I am constructing military pages for all my relatives who served in the armed forces. As I served for 11 years in the Army I feel it is important to honor those who have served our country in my family tree. I have little info regarding Mr. Telesmanic aside from the fact that he was a professional football player before the war and that his plane was listed as missing in action in 1942. Any photos or information that you might have of him or his crew would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Kevin Gilfether

Date:
12/20/2012
Time:
1:36 PM
 
Dear Sir,

As teenagers, my parents watched the crash of 3 B-26C Marauders near Bodegraven, where they lived at that time.
One of the planes made a belly landing at De Meije. This plane had the registration DR-W (41-17999) and belonged to the 452 Sq of the 322 Bombardment group.
The crew consisted of L. David Wurst, 2Lt. Robert Starr, 2Lt. A. Speer, Cpl. George Heski, S/Sgt. Robert J Dempsey and Sgt. Reginald Foster. The complete crew survived and became POW's. Mr. Helski was wounded and my father saw how they helped him out of the plane.

I'm writing an article about this plane for the magazine of the History Club of Bodegraven and would like to ask you if there are any pics of this plane. Can you tell me if the plane had a nickname and nose art? I would like to include that info in my article.

Please contact me if you have any information.

Thank you kindly in advance for your help.
Jan Voorbij

Date:
12/15/2012
Time:
7:32 AM
 
Hi, I am French. I bought a flashlight a few weeks ago that was found on a farm in north of France. Etched on the side is the name Louis V Sermersheim, serial #XXXXX758. I would like to make contact with the relatives or descendants of Mr. Sermersheim. He was in the 552nd Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. Do you have other information or pictures?
 
Regards, Jean Paul
France

Date:
12/14/2012
Time:
6:08 AM
 
Does anyone remember Charles L Fincke, if yes, please reply. The group of guys picture, top row center is Dad.
 
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Thanks,
Charles L Fincke, Jr.

Date:
12/12/2012
Time:
7:06 PM
 
Hello,
My grandfather, Clarence "Cy" Cyford, flew on the "Loretta Young". He passed away a few years ago, but I have many photographs, documents, and stories that he left behind. I would love to be able to organize and understand more about what I have. What would you suggest as a good starting point?

Thank you,
Emily Cyford

Date:
12/7/2012
Time:
9:54 PM
 
Below is the story of my father, Arthur H. Barton, that I pieced together from old newspaper clippings, his own recollections, records, and keepsakes. My father was a true blue American hero and Marauder man who flew 70+ combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart, twice, for wounds received in action, and the Air Medal with 2 silver and 2 bronze oak leaf clusters representing 13 air medals in total. He also received the medals for the European Theater (ETO) with 2 Battle Stars, American Theater, and the Liberty Medal in WWII.

I have a number more keep sakes, articles, letters, photos, etc. My father believed this was one of the photos he took on D-day either over Omaha Beach or Utah Beach. Here is a photo my father took through his bomb site...I do not know which mission it was from.

Best regards,
Lesley Barton

***
Arthur Barton was born on September 13, 1921 in Minnesota. Six months later his family moved to Chicago, IL, where he was a salesman of house furnishings, and attended night school classes at Northwestern University before he enlisted in the Army Air Force after Pearl Harbor on October 10, 1942; he had just turned 21 years old. Known in his cadet training as Buzz, he attended the training in Santa Anita, CA, as well as, winning his wings at the Bombardier Training School in Albuquerque, NM along with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. 2nd Lt. Arthur Barton left with Col. Robert H. Adams crew in April of 1943 to go overseas and be stationed at Earls Colne, England in order to join his comrades in arms in the European Theater.

2nd Lieutenant Barton, arrived at Earls Colne and was part of the 453rd Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. While with the 8th Air Force, 2nd Lt. Arthur Barton was wounded in action for the first time over Martinvast, France. Soon after Buzz Barton was injured, he was awarded the rank of 1st Lieutenant. 1st Lt. Arthur (Buzz) Barton, Jr., flew two B-26 bomber missions over Normandy and Omaha Beach where he was wounded for the second time by flak bursting just ahead of his plane (while he was in the nose) which filled his face with plexi-glass cuts and injured his hand, as well, during the D-day invasion. Lt. Barton served in the 8th with his pilot, Col. Robert Bob H. Adams, co-pilot F/O Robert Brownie K. Brown, Engine Gunner S/Sgt. Clarence Blackie M. Blackmore, Radio Operator-Gunner S/Sgt. Charles Max E. Maxwell, and Armorer Gunner Sgt. Archie Russ Russell Martin, who were his crew members, friends, and brothers on their infamous bomber the Goatee Hell. Lt. Arthur Barton later was with Ghodes Crew and transferred to the 9th Air Force. During the Lieutenant's time with the 8th and 9th Air Forces, he flew most his missions throughout France, Holland, Belgium, and submarine pens in Norway.

One of 1st Lt. Arthur Barton's favorite and most humorous of memories was about the Marty Marauder crashing into their British Base and smashing directly into the tail of his parked bomber the Goatee Hell. A very determined Master Sergeant George Feehan, called together volunteers who were in shock and disbelief, to help solder the nose of the Goatee Hell (vet of 51 missions) to the tail of the Marty Marauder (vet of 57) together. The cocky crew proclaimed the three week job of make-shift mission assembly the quickest job in AAF record to the inspectors that were in awe of the matched marvel. Lt. Arthur Barton was completely unfazed flying all of his future bombing missions in this make-shift airplane: To Buzz it was just part of the job.

One of Art's saddest memories was of going out on leave one weekend and coming back to find that he had lost his entire squadron; it always haunted him because he had not been there to help protect his comrades from perishing. Just five years before he passed, a man Art had been conversing with at a nearby country club exclaimed to him "you are lucky to have survived," for which Art later professed to his wife, Mary Ellen, that it had never crossed his mind before that moment; " it was my job, it had to be done."

1st Lt. Art (Buzz) Barton flew a total of 70+ combat missions in B-26 Bombers from where he was stationed in England to bombing targets in occupied Europe during his time in World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart, twice, for wounds received in action, and the Air Medal with 2 silver and 2 bronze oak leaf clusters representing 13 air medals in total. He also received the medals for the European Theater (ETO) with 2 Battle Stars, American Theater, and the Liberty Medal.

When Buzz left the European Theater, he was returned stateside in order to train French Flyers at Selfridge Field, Michigan and Barksdale Field, LA. Due to 1st Lt. Arthur Barton heroically amassing 139 points during army service, (his 17 medals alone worth 85 points were enough for him to return to civilian life), he was sent back home before the War in Japan had even ended.

Just before Lt. Arthur Barton was honorably discharged, he was called out of the debriefing line and taken into a dark room full of Commanding Officers and was asked to head one more secret volunteer mission for which he was promised the the highest medal he could be awarded. Buzz took the night to mull it over and upon his return the next day, he told the extremely High Ranking Officers that he had done his duty and felt that he must travel home to his concerned beloved mother that he had already cabled regarding his imminent return. Art later discovered that the final mission these men in the dark room had wanted him to assist in heading was the Enola Gay. Art was always eternally grateful that his adoring devotion to his mother kept him from flying the only mission of his military career (volunteer included and he flew 3 times the missions needed to be sent home) that he ever rejected.

Buzz was also a speaker representing the U.S. Army Air Force on the 7th War Loan Drive selling war bonds and giving Bombardier awards to Blockbusters in Port Huron Schools who had received 2,000 in the war salvage program. When 1st Lt. Bombardier-Navigator Arthur (Buzz) Barton returned home to civilian life and was honorably discharged from the AFF on June 14, 1945 with 54 points to spare, it was less than three years after his enlistment and Buzz was just short of his 24th birthday.

Art arrived home to Chicago, IL and re-enrolled at Northwestern during the day on the GI Bill and assisted in starting the very first Alpha Tao Omega fraternity chapter at the University along with other WWII comrades in arms who had just returned stateside. After graduating from Northwestern in two years, Art went onto Northwestern Law School where he received his Juris Doctorate.

Art became a general practitioner with a sole practice primarily in personal injury and workers compensation cases with his primary outsourced client being Marshall Fields & Company for over 25 years. His wife, Mary Ellen, and two children, Bruce and Lesley, would be stopped readily on LaSalle Street in Chicago by other attorneys praising their father, Art, for being the most honorable attorney on the street which is considered attorney's row. Art was highly respected by his clients and his peers and was awarded the honor of Senior Counselor by the Illinios State Bar Association. Arthur's last case of his career was a malpractice case that received the highest verdict awarded, at that time, against one doctor. Most of Art's lifetime was joyously spent raising his adoring family in Kenilworth, IL and then retiring to Glenview, IL where he passed away peacefully on May 7, 2006, surrounded by his adoring family that will love and miss him until they meet again.

Date:
12/7/2012
Time:
9:35 AM
 
My father flew B-26s with the 9AF in the 394BG / 584 BS. The below information is provided for inclusion on your site.

I know many of his old squadron mates -- like him -- are no longer with us. However, if anyone knew him, I would welcome the chance to correspond.

Kind regards, Bob Maslowsky

Name: Melvin W. "Irish" Maslowsky
Rank: 2nd/LT
Rating: Pilot
BombGrp: 394th
Squadron: 584th
Years: 44 - 45
Training: Blythe-Merced
Advanced: Marfa Class:44F
Comments: Joined the Army in 1942 and was assigned to Armor becoming a tank commander. Selected for aviation training and graduated from Advanced at Marfa AAF, Class 44F. Not sure when he arrived in ETO -- believe it was summer of 1944 - but was there through war's end. Mustered out after the war and remained in the Reserves. Re-called during Korea and remained on active duty till 1968. During this time his duty stations included: Langley; Rantoul; Offutt; Ashiya, Japan; Eglin; Naha, Okinawa (TDY to Vietnam), and McGuire. He retired in 1968 as a Lt Col and died in 1985.

Date:
12/7/2012
Time:
9:22 AM
 
I have wanted to do this for some time now. I would like to honor the service of my uncle, 1st. Lt. Robert Threadgill, and the men that served with him. He was co-pilot of a B-26 in the European Theater and flew 65 mission in 1944. Unfortunately, I have very little information to provide other that a few photos of questionable quality. However, since I saw no reference to his plane on your site, I thought it appropriate to share what little information I have. Any additional information I could find would be most appreciated.

Unfortunately, my uncle passed away a couple of years ago. However, my son and I, along with my sister, brother and sister-in-law spent Christmas Day with him a couple of months before he died. I wanted my son to meet and hear some of the stories from an actual WWII veteran. I had 7 uncles that served in the war and, miraculously, they all survived. They are all gone, now, but we cannot forget their service and sacrifice to our country.

Sincerely, Robert Todd

Date:
12/6/2012
Time:
1:35 PM
 
Looking for relatives of Lt. George Overby, 397th BG. I have an enlarged photo of him flying his B-26, 42-96191, over England in the spring of 1944. The picture was taken from my father’s plane. I had this photo enlarged from the original and framed for my dad. It is in a frame about 16” by 24”. If any of you would like this I will send it to you if you will give me your mailing address.
 
Lt. Overby was one of the original pilots to fly the southern route with the 397th, so was my Dad. My dad had a small picture of this plane in his album. About a zillion years ago I had it blown up and framed and gave it to him for Xmas. He and George were friends.

The plane later had the nose art of “Milk Run Special” (adult content stuff). Anyway, I have that picture in my den/computer room and was wondering what I was going to do with it. you might ask Trevor for any other crew members. I certainly don’t know of them.
 
-Wynn Anderson

Date:
12/6/2012
Time:
1:35 PM
 
My Uncle, 1st. Lt. William Haban, was a member of the 323rd AAF Bomb Group and on route in a B26B to lead the 409th on a combat mission. On the morning of 26 November 1944 in darkness and heavy cloud cover the pilot undershot the runway resulting in the explosion of one of the 1000 lb. bombs on board, killing five of the seven men on board. The incident occurred in Bretigny, France.

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The crew members:
P- Dilg, John H.
CP- Burk, Dale V.
N- William (NMI) Haban
B- Van Pelt, Wilber
RO- Baloom, Leo D.
E- Metzger, Leonard D.
TG- Horney, Harold E.
 
Mr. Metzger and Mr. Horney were survivors of the incident. I am interested in obtaining any information on this incident, the whereabouts of the survivors or their survivors and anything on the career of my Uncle 1st Lt. William Haban. Any information will be greatly appreciated. -William Squicciarino

Date:
11/25/2012
Time:
1:37 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Captain Russell Thayer
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 453rd
Years in service: 1943 to 1945?

Comments: My father, Russell Thayer, is turning 90 on Dec 5th. He was the pilot for his plane (and maybe squadron leader at some point?). I would like to compile some notes from anyone who can help me regarding memories of flying with him, training with him, etc.

Attached is a crew photo. His crew (from right to left): Lt A. P. Ianne – Tail gunner; Lt. R.L. Trone – Top gunner; Lt. ??? – Engineer; Lt. John McLean – Bombardier; Lt. J.W. Jones – Co-pilot; Lt. Russell Thayer - Pilot
 
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Date:
11/21/2012
Time:
8:21 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Flight Officer Leslie D. Gilliland
Bomb Group: 38th and 42nd Bombardment Group
Bomb Squadron: 70th Bombardment Squadron , Medium
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: My cousin was shot down and died 1/28/1944 during a strafing attack on Tobera. I remember that my aunt was given anecdotal information that Leslie was lost to AA. The remains of Leslie and his crew were found in the Rabaul jungle in 1962 (I think). He was buried at Jefferson Barracks in St Louis. I would appreciate any information or tips on how to find out the details of his training and service. I would also love to find any pictures. I v worked for and retired from Martin Marietta. A big “thank you” to anyone who can help me.

I discovered a history of the 42nd Bombardment Group, titled The Crusaders. There is a single reference to FO Leslie Gilliland in Chapter 10.

I discovered your web site this evening and am most impressed. God bless our vets and God bless the B-26 crews and support elements too.

Dave Sutherland

Date:
11/20/2012
Time:
12:02 AM
 
Hello, I have an interest in the former Airfield base in Chipping Ongar, England, which was the wartime base for 387th USAF Bomb Group. I am interested in the former Command Building which is now terribly derelict. Is this something I could talk any American friends about?

I live in a small village in rural England called Willingale. I am interested in local history and I regularly walk on footpaths near a sad, derelict building and in making enquiries I discovered this was the WWII Command Building for the 387 USAF Bomber Squadron. Amazing!

I think it is terribly sad that it is in such a state of disrepair and my family and I would like to find a way of preserving it for posterity.

I made contact with the website because it was an American Air Force base, not a British Air Force Base, and I though American ex-servicemen and/or the families of ex-servicemen who were based in Willingale might be interested in the project?

I am not looking for funding, I am merely looking for a way of making contact with individuals who may have memories of the base and might be interested in learning about it now. That is all. No ulterior motive.

However, if you would like to help I would be most grateful for any assistance you may be able to offer.

Kind regards
Jeff
 
Hi Jeff, just to introduce myself, I have been interested in the B-26 Marauder, the men who flew and maintained the aircraft, and their airfields (in Essex) for about 7 years; and each of these are interesting subjects in their own right. How I got started is another story, but since then I've visited all of their airfields and read a great deal. I live in Rayleigh and find it fascinating that we have so much history in our county, and find it sad that so much of it is unknown by the general public.

I believe that you live in Willingale, and that you came across the Operations Building whilst walking around the old airfield. I also believe you would like to find a way of preserving it for posterity. I have no personal experience of taking on such a project, but I would guess that this would be a most challenging undertaking. As you can probably expect, there are issues concerning ownership (or leasing) of the land on which it stands; the repair and the ongoing maintenance of the building(s); health and safety regulations; electricity, water, and sewage connections; and last (but not least) funding !

I am a member of Boxted Airfield Historical Group, who have recently constructed a museum on the old airfield site (http://www.boxted-airfield.com/). Construction of the museum was funded by various fund-raising events over many years, donations from individuals and the families of servicemen who served on the airfield, and also with the help of the National Lottery Fund. Our chairman would probably be the best person to talk to regarding what is involved and I would be happy to ask him to contact you. There are, of course, many other airfield museums (Thorpe Abbotts, Horham, Rougham, etc.) who I would expect would also be happy to give you advice.

It's a shame that the museum at Blake Hall closed about 7 years ago. I never got the chance to visit it, but I believe that it contained a great deal of memorabilia concerning the 387th Bomb Group. I hear that the exhibits were sold (a travesty, if so) to collectors and the rest found their way into the hands of individuals or organisations willing to give them a home. I came across several free-standing display boards at Debach museum a few years ago, which contained various photographs of the 387th aircraft and crews. Someone at the museum said that they acquired these, and a few more items (the pilot's seat from a Marauder being one) from Blake Hall. So, it would be a fitting and marvellous thing if these objects were able to be displayed at Willingale, perhaps in a museum !

I visited Willingale last year, and had the privilege to meet Peter Crouchman who was a young man when the 387th arrived at Willingale (you can read more at http://www.b26.com/guestbook/2011.htm posted 11/13/2011 8:41 AM). Peter took some relatives of an airman who was killed whilst based at Willingale and I around the airfield, and it was a joy to hear all the memories that he had of the airfield and of Willingale in times gone by. Peter sadly passed away last year, and his expertise and knowledge will be sorely missed. One of the main issues that relatives and others face is knowing where they are welcome to wander on the airfield and where they are not. Other activities, such as clay shooting, also present a danger. As such, building a rapport with the appropriate landowners (which Peter had) is something that would be useful.

The Operations Block (a sturdy, brick built, bomb-proof, building) was boarded up the last time that I visited it (to stop the vandals destroying the place). The bomb sight store (as smaller brick building) also still stands nearby. This was a secure building where the Norden bomb sights were stored when not in use. There would also have been at least 3 large Nissen huts nearby (24 feet diameter) and some of the foundations of these are still visible. These huts would have housed administration staff who would have planned each mission, and a hut where the crews were briefed before each mission.

In the meantime, I recommend AIX as a valuable source of information concerning all UK airfields. It's free and (once you've created an account) you can post questions on almost any subject concerning airfields and their buildings. The Willingale thread is viewable at http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?2203-Chipping-Ongar-Willingale
I would expect that members of AIX may be interested in helping with your project should you wish to pursue it.

There are several books concerning the Essex airfields used by the USAAF and the various Marauder groups based at these available from Essex Libraries (http://elan-classic.essexcc.gov.uk/evs-app/). I can suggest some of my favourites if you would like ?

Perhaps you'd like to meet up some time for a chat and/or a wander around the airfield ?

Regards, Steve

Date:
11/14/2012
Time:
9:29 PM
 
My name is Owen Cottle. I was an aircraft armorer in the 558th Squadron, 387th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force stationed at Chipping Onger, England and subsequent locations from early 1944 until July 1945. Aircraft that I worked on included Pugnatious Peggy, Screaming Eagle and several others working in tandem with other ground crew armament personnel to load bombs and maintain the 50 cal guns. Best friends were Irvin Boisen from Montana, John Pelos from Washington, Frazier Bailey from Florida, Artie Gill from New Jersey, Dick Mizurka from Illinois. Have you any information on any of these people so that I could contact them?

Date:
11/12/2012
Time:
10:51 PM
 
In response to the post by Kathleen Darden Adams on Aug. 11, 2012 about her father, 1st. Lt. Frank Darden, I have attached a photo from my grandfather Frank S. Cooper's album (also of the 573rd) which shows the unfinished nose art of "OH FRANKIE" and it indeed indicates that her father was covering the "Co"  in front of "Pilot" with his hand. Unfortunately that is all I know about the picture but perhaps you can send this to her for her records.  In reading through my grandfather's flight school and training documents, he was most certainly certified as a pilot to operate a B26 but I'm not sure how or when they determined the fate of these men to be designated pilot or co-pilot but as far as I know my grandfather remained a co-pilot throughout his 65 missions.  Thanks again. Ryan Cooper
 
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Date:
10/20/2012
Time:
9:41 AM
 
I need help finding information related to this old post.

Date: 7/3/99 Time: 2:09:04 PM
"Pugnacious Peggy" 387th BG 558th Squadron Chipping Ongar. Amresearching 558th BS "Pugnacious Peggy" and crew. "KX-Z" a silver B-26B-55 Lt. Stuart "Stub" Perrin pilot Lt. Bill Bustard co pilot T/SGT Ole Olsen radio/waist gunner Ralph Paden togglier/nose gunner Elrod Larned engineer/turret gunner Bob Norwood tail gunner. Looking for add'l details of May 29, 1944 mission to Conflans railroad bridge (near Paris). Lead ship with Capt Harmon and crew lost to flak at target. Ole Olsen was only casualty in "Pugnacious Peggy". Perrin & Olsen shared a take off prayer together each mission for their whole tour together, synchronized to takeoff checklist. E-mail me and I'll share the text. Cam Martin


Reverend Perrin related the story of Olsen and the prayer they shared when he was my minister back in the '60's.  I found the story and the prayer on the internet a couple of months ago and thought I saved it. I've been all over the internet since then trying to find it again but no luck. I believe it was Cam Martin who was the author of the story. My church is having a Veterans' Day service this year, and the minister would like to share the story and prayer.

I also remember Reverend Perrin telling me how he replaced the 38 in his survivor vest with a pocket Testament.  He put his faith in God at a time when crew members who were shot down were murdered on the ground.  It was a powerful testimony.

Thanks.
David King

Date:
10/6/2012
Time:
3:18 PM
 
I am the youngest son of Ralph Lee Peters of the 320th BG, 444th BS. When I saw and read the story of Donald Wilson Round, Pilot, 320th BG, 444th BS, I couldn't help but wonder if he knew my father. My dad always spoke so fondly of the men he served with, and that bond would never be broken. I would love to hear from anyone who may have know, my father and served with him.

Respectfully,
Leighton Peters

Date:
10/5/2012
Time:
6:42 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Carl V. Arnold
Bomb Group: 386th & 394th
Bomb Squadron: 553rd & 584th
Years in service: 1941-1945
Graduation Class: Air Corps Technical School
Class Location: Scott Field, Illinois
Comments: Grandpa (S/Sgt.) Carl, was a Radio Operator/ Gunner on B-26s in 1945,with the 386th in Beaumont-sur-Oise, France, then the 394th in Cambrai, France, then Venlo, Holland. He apparently did 3 missions with the 386th BG, 553rdBS, 29 Jan - 17 Feb. The 386th transitioned to A-26s in this time, and he was transferred to the 394th which still had B-26s. I have his Mission Record for the 394th, which starts with Sortie #4-20, and many Individual Flight Records from January '45-August '45. The Mission Record with the 394th shows "previous missions" presumably from the 386th, Sortie #1-3, with start and end dates, and total time, but nothing specific (like mission dates, mission sortie #s, aircraft type and model, and aircraft serial number and nickname). I would like to find out those 3 missions he would have done with the 386th, as I have been able to figure out the other missions with the 394th. On each of the individual flight records, it gives days, a/c type and model (B-26G1), number of landings, and hours (listed under non-rated other crew&passenger). From what I can figure so far, he would have flown 29 Jan '45, in a B26G1, for 3:45. The next sheet shows 6 Feb B26G1 for 3:15, then 17 Feb B26G15 for 3:30. I'm looking for the mission number (like #326), the target (marshalling yard/bridge/depot/) the aircraft serial number he was in, the group ID (5W-H), and aircraft nickname (Zombie/Happy Pappy).

There seems to be a lot of other flights listed in the individual flight record, specifically after his last "mission" in 20 Apr. They seem to be shorter flights of 2 hours or less. What kind of flights would these have been? Not actual missions? Training? Proficiency flights?

It seems that he moved from one plane to another, to another, only being on one specific plane 3 times, the rest, once maybe twice. Where Radio operators assigned to specific ships? or just Lieutenants?

Is there any record of what each individual crew member did on each individual missions? Like if on any of these missions did he score any hits/kills?

Is there any record of his promotions from Corporal, to Sergeant, to Staff Sergeant? And then an extraction order at the end of August sending him home?

I was able to find some great information on http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier/pdf/386th_bomb_group.pdf , had some info on the 386th, but I can't read the mission records well enough to make out the specifics. http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier/marauders.of.the.386th.bomb.group.htm , lists aircraft of the 386th/553rd, but I don't know if he was on any of these aircraft.

Thanks again for all you do!! So much appreciation for the work!! And thanks to the Vets that did the job!!!
 
Casey Hale

Date:
10/2/2012
Time:
9:32 AM
 
Name: Glenn Robert "Bob" Young
Bomb Group: 344th BG
Bomb Squadron: 496th BS
Years in service: July 1943 -January 1945.

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Hi there,

I am looking to make contact with anyone who knew or has photographs of 1st Lt. Glenn R. Young, known as Bob, he enlisted in the RCAF in Oct 1941 and was given 18 months training. Assigned to active duty at the front, he was assigned to 279 Hudson Squadron at RAF Bircham Newton, England, he flew a total of 20 missions with 279 squadron. On 13 July, 1943, Glenn transferred to the United States Army Air Forces, commissioned as a First Lieutenant. He was assigned to the 496th Bombardment Squadron, of the 344th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force, flying B-26 Marauder, medium type bombers based at Stansted, in England. He took part in the 496th’s mission on the morning of the D-Day invasion, flying aircraft B-26 N3*A at the front of box II. Lt. Young received a commanding officers commendation for accurate bombing in the attack on the gun emplacements at Utah Beach, and for an accurate attack on Cherbourg Port on 6/6/44. In late October, 1944, the 496th were sent to a French Base, Cormeilles-en-Vixen, where Lt. Young was quartered in a wooden building that the Germans had constructed to house their “collaborators”. His room accommodated about 12 personnel of which a fellow 496th pilot, Lt. Jack Bornhoeft, was a resident. Lt. Bornhoeft recalled that Lt. Young, reminded him of an English gentleman, pipe in hand, or in the side of the mouth and evidently from his RAF days, he used various English terms for parts of aircraft. In December 1944, Lt. Young was awarded the Silver Star medal for taking out a bridge during the Battle of The Bulge in the Ardennes Forest. During this mission, he was severly injured by FLAK and suffered tremendous blood loss. He managed to nurse his damaged aircraft back to base and was commended for his exemplary bravery in performing his duties under intense enemy action. Excluding his missions with the RAF, he flew 65 combat missions in the European Theater of Operations with the USAAF before arriving in Northern Ireland as a test pilot at Langford Lodge in early 1945. Glenn preferred to be called Bob, his daughter recalled. Sadly, before he was due to depart Langford Lodge for the states, he was killed in an aircraft accident just off the airfield in June 1945.

I am looking for anyone who might have photographs of Lt. Young while he was with the 496th BS or can fill me in on any missions he was on from historical records, I would be interested to learn more about his part in the D-Day assault and when he was injured by FLAK during the Battle of the Bulge.

I have been researching Lt. Young for over ten years now, It all started with researching aircraft accidents that were located in the vicinity of where I live, knowing that a huge American WWII base was just down the road, I inquired to my grandmother if she remembered any accidents during the war, to which she remembered a P-38 crash on the outskirts of the village, from researching this accident, I managed to track down all other aircraft accidents from that base, which was the former Base Air Depot 3, Langford Lodge. In doing this I came across Lt. Young's accident. I have been writing a book on these accidents for the last two years now and have tried my utmost to leave no stone unturned in revealing the truth about each accident. I had a website around ten years ago detailing these accidents and fortunately Lt. Young's family made contact with me, just as I had recovered parts of his crashed aircraft, strange co-incidence but I find it always works out that way when you least expect. It was Lt. Young's grandson that made contact with me and put me in touch with Lt Young's son, David, who was born in England a month before the crash and his daughter Anna, from Glenn's first marriage in Kentucky, USA. Lt. Young was based in Northern Ireland at Langford Lodge in early 1945, I assume it was shortly after he left hospital after being severely injured by FLAK in December 44. Assigned as a test pilot, Lt. Young was responsible for ferrying many war-weary aircraft to Langford Lodge from another local airfield, Greencastle, on the shores of the North Irish coast. When the aircraft arrived at Langford Lodge, they were assessed and either majorly overhauled or scrapped for salvageable parts, the vast majority of these aircraft were A-20's, but also B-24's, B-17's. It was while undertaking a test flight in one of these War-Weary A-20 aircraft that he was killed, sadly along with another young Lieutenant who came up for a ride to see what the A-20 was all about, he was only at the base for the day to replace a pilot who had suddenly taken ill, he was to replace this pilot and ferry a C-47 and it's crew back to Metz in France. A few days after the accident, Lt. Young should have been making his way home to the states with his English wife and recently born son. The official report blamed Lt. Young for allowing his aircraft to stall while in a steep climbing turn, what the investigators of the time did not take into account, was that the engine, into which he was turning, had quit, which brought on the onset of the stall and subsequently developed into an inverted spin into the wing. This was only discovered ten years ago when I excavated the remains of his aircraft, the results of which, an intact propeller blade, was proof that it was not moving when it came into contact with the ground, proving that engine failure was the main cause which brought about the series of events that took place.

I'm unsure what English terms he used, but Lt. Bornhoeft recalled he used British terminology for various parts of an aircraft, this was due to his time with the British when he was in the RCAF.

Would you happen to have any unit histories or photographs pertaining to Lt. Young while he was with the 344th BG?

Please find attached a picture of Lt. Young in RCAF uniform and later USAAF uniform, note he had his RCAF wings sewn onto his USAAF uniform.

Thank you for your time, kindest regards to you all.

Will Lindsay

Date:
9/30/2012
Time:
1:05 PM
 
Good Evening,
I am researching the crash of RAF mosquito HK454 which crashed at Tilty in Essex, England on 5th February 1944. Tilty is very near the Former RAF Great Dunmow/Easton Lodge which at the time was the home of the 386th BG.

I understand crash crews from the 386th attended the crash at the time.

I would like to ask if you would know if I can find any information about the crash from the 386th's records or log books and how I would go about this please?

I think perhaps the pilot was trying to nurse the "Mossie" (De Havilland Mosquito, Mosquito bomber) to a crash landing at Great Dunmow which was very close but didn't make it.

Would there be any records of radio calls kept or tower log books/records perhaps?

Some info on the crash in these links-

http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/496420-mosquito-nfxiii-hk454-5-feb-44-crash-tilty-essex.html

http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=73035

Thank you,

Yours Sincerely,
Darren Stone

Date:
9/29/2012
Time:
7:29 AM
 
On April 4, 2005, Carolyn Hierholzer posted a message in the guest book, asking if you had a photograph of her uncle, Billie Thornblom, a member of the 587 Bomb Squad, 397 Bomb Group. Billie Thornblom died of injuries suffered when the plane flown by Elmer J. Frank, my mother's first husband, crashed on April 19, 1945.

I inherited a box of photographs from my mother and among them was a photograph that Elmer Frank had sent my mother of the plane and crew, following an earlier emergency landing. On the back of the photo, Elmer wrote the names of the crewmen, who included Sgt. Thornblom.

I'm attaching copies of the photo, front and back, in the hope that Ms. Hierholzer discovers them.

Edward G. Puhl
 
[large]
[large] [close-ups 1, 2] Left to Right: Lt. Jenks; Crew Chief Garrett; Elmer J. Frank; Line Chief; unknown, unknown, unknown.
"Picture taken after making emergency landing at A72. Right engine knocked out over Germany while flying through flak barrage. Came home all alone. Flew one hour and fifteen minutes."

Date:
9/28/2012
Time:
4:00 PM
 
Hello 387th.
My name is Paul J. and I am a serious collector of original WW2 photography…mostly snapshots and albums of soldiers in the ETO. I often will buy other groupings if they are good quality. Well, I just purchased one such grouping this week. There are approximately 300 original period prints and 200 + negatives taken by a photographer with the 387th. There are many mission shots, shots of B 26s dropping bombs, aerial views of targets, a few pilots, shots taken in and around their base in England as well as here back in the US before they shipped over. Shots of them when they were taking part in the Normandy bombings of Utah beach including several shots from the air of the vessels below off of Utah…etc etc. I had to pay a lot to get these and would like to sell them as a group. If you aren't interested than most likely I will have to start splitting them up and selling them on auction site as I need to pay some bills.
Please get back to me as soon as you can if you have any interest.

Thanks.
Sincerely,
Paul J.

Here is an example of a person contacting us BEFORE putting pictures on an online auction site - we appreciate the opportunity to buy pictures and NOT see collections broken up and sold. We need them to be seen and donated to Akron Marauder man archive.

Date:
9/27/2012
Time:
8:46 AM
 
Still going on strong and still looking for info on Ralph Willett and his crew. I'm hoping to find relatives from Ralph's crewmembers.

Greetings,
Richard Kunne
Holland
 
Richard, 44-67889 387th.BG 558th.BS crashed at Eijen, Holland on cross country flight 8th May 1945. Crew:- 2.Lt's Joseph W Leighty; William W Tierney; Wilbur S Harding; 1.Lt Robert P Sturm; T/Sgt Ralph A Willett; S/Sgt Gavin J Moffett.-Trevor

Date:
9/25/2012
Time:
12:15 PM
 
To Whom It may Concern:
My father flew 59 missions out of Sardinia & Corsica primarily in O'Riley's Daughter (B/N 67 42-107550).

He’s never attended a B-26 meeting/conference and has been reluctant over the years to contact or become a member of a B-26 group but he has many great stories that I believe should be documented and shared.

My fathers name is Robert (Bob) M. Davis. He’s 88 and alive and well . If you or someone is interested in documenting some of his stories, please let me know and I will put you in contact with him.

Regards,
Byron Davis

Bryon, "O'Riley's Daughter" was transferred to the 320th from the 319th in November 44 when the 319th converted to B-25 Mitchell - full original description was 319th Bomb Group 437 Bomb Squadron 42-107550 BN.08 "O'Rileys Daughter". -Trevor

Date:
9/22/2012
Time:
6:23 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Alfred J. Byrnes
b.7/17/1921-d.5/26/2011
Position: Radioman on B-26 Bar-Fly
Comments: My dad said he was trained on B-17s and sent to England with a 8th Airforce B-17 crew but shortly after arriving in England he was re-assigned to the 9th Airforce as a replacement radioman on a B-26.

The only date I'm sure of was the date he had to bail out over France 8/11/1944. He said they dropped their bomb load and were heading back to England. He took off his parachutes and climbed up into the turret for the ride back. After the plane was hit by flak the pilot gave the order to bail out. Dad said he didn't have time to put his main chute on (after climbing down from the turret) so he just clipped the back-up chute on his chest and jumped.

He said he didn't know what happened to the plane, he was so busy trying to get his chute to open (his 1st and only jump) it took him several tries at pulling the release before the chute opened.
When he landed the French people were right there and took him to a house. There was another GI from his crew with him that he only knew as Smitty, my dad was only with this crew a few days at this time. Dad and Smitty were helped by the French people as they moved toward the coast and eventually met up with British troops. They were repatriated a few weeks later.
Here is a picture of Bar Fly with dad standing closest to the nose of the plane, I don't know who any of the other crew members are. But, this looks like the same Bar Fly seen in pictures on your site and other B-26 sites.

Also, here is the letter to my Grandmother informing her of dads being listed as MIA, and dads telegram to his mother letting her know he is okay. -Ed Byrnes
 
Ed, August 11th 1944 B-26G 43-34214 RU-L of the 554th.Bomb Squadron of the 386th Bomb Group was hit by flak which shot out one engine, jammed the bomb bay doors open and ruptured a gas tank. The crew bailed out safely.

Crew: Maj Ervin A Rodgers pilot; Capt Robert V Holland co-pilot; Capt Robert L Cunningham, navigator; 1.Lt Donald E Headrick, bombardier; Sgt Alfred J Byrnes radio/gunner; S/Sgt J C Smith armourer/gunner; Cpl Grant Barker armourer/gunner.

Trevor Allen
Historian b26.com

Date:
9/18/2012
Time:
9:18 AM
 
Attached is a photo of my grandfather, 1st Lt Harry J. Lester. According to Mr. Chester Klier, he was assigned to the 552nd Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. Any further information that can be provided would be greatly appreciated. I'm interested to know the names of his fellow crew members and the aircraft he co-piloted.

[large]

Sincerely,
Mr. Val T. Lester

Date:
9/15/2012
Time:
4:33 AM
 
My name is Dan Zommer. I am a Chief Petty Officer Flight Engineer on a US Navy P-3 Orion stationed at NAS Jacksonville, FL. My Grandfather, Francis (Frank) Henry Zommer, was an enlisted crewman on a B-26 stationed in NAS Jacksonville In the early - mid 1940's. I am looking for any of his prior crew mates that might have known him. He passed away in April, 1996, and I never really got to hear any of his stories. Thank you for your time.

AWFC Dan Zommer, USN.

Date:
9/14/2012
Time:
7:07 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: SSGT Joseph Strube, Radio/ Gunner, 394th Bomb Group, 584th Bomb Squadron
Correct spelling of last name is Strube. According to records, my Uncle was one of those that parachuted out and was captured and placed as a prisoner of war. I am trying to collect more information about him. I was told by my farther that his brother was killed during a prisoner exchange when the Germans did not mark the train with red crosses. As a result, the train was attacked and he was killed. Trying to collect more information if there is anyone who has info or knew my Uncle.

Sincerely
Michael Strube

Date: 19 February 1945
Target: Railroad Bridge at Neuwied, Germany
B26: 43-34208 W (Un-named)

Crew:
Capt Martin Harter - pilot
2.Lt Shaldon Spector - copilot (prisoner of war)
1.Lt Robert Brugman - bombardier/navigator
2.Lt John Therkeldsen - bombardier/navigator
S/Sgt Joseph Stube - radio/gunner
Sgt Harvey Johnson - engineer/gunner
Sgt Neubern Atkinson - armourer/gunner
T/Sgt Harold Brown - armourer/gunner
Capt Nicholas Opalic - Army liaison officer

Date:
9/13/2012
Time:
2:45 PM
 
Hello, Saturday, September 8, 2012, the town of Fontenay-sur-Eure, located in the region of Chartres, inaugurated a memorial to the crew of B26 - 42 96 199 belonging to the 557th squadron. This aircraft was shot down by German flak during a bombing mission on the airfield Chartres. The b26 driver was Lt. Robert Smith. Three men perished in the crash.  The mission of 26 may 1944 was the airfield at Chartres. The majority of bombs fell on the city center. Forty-nine (49) civilians are killed. Testimony of Robert N Smith, pilot

Cordially,
Jean Pierre, President Forced Landing Association

Date:
9/10/2012
Time:
11:15 AM
 
John Richard Auer, Sr., 17th Bomb Group, 37th Bomb Squadron, September 04, 2012-August 31, 1922 - September 4, 2012

John Richard Auer, Sr., 90, passed away surrounded by his family on Tuesday, September 4, 2012.

He was preceded in death by his infant son, Paul Michael Auer.

Mr. Auer was born in Windsor, Canada. He served in the US Air Force for 24 years before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He also worked 20 years for the State of Nebraska, retiring as the director of the department of Aeronautics.

Col. Auer is survived by his wife of sixty nine years, Barbara Greene Auer; son, John Richard Auer, Jr. and wife Dottie; three daughters, Barbara Joanne Block and husband, Robert; Susan Boyd and husband, Jim; and Kristin Cohn and husband, Mitchell; 14 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Date:
9/8/2012
Time:
2:42 PM
 
Hello, hope you can help me with this non-b26 question. I am a ww2 history buff, but some one asked me a question today that I could not answer. I did know at one time but cannot bring it up in my memory. Some service men were discharged, period, and some were recalled to fight in Korea. Can someone out there give me the rational for this. I think it has to do with the enlistment date but not sure. Thank you so much...Barbara Pallister
 
Barbara, those men on the reserve list on demobilization at the end of World War II were called back to Korea. Trevor

Date:
9/8/2012
Time:
8:34 AM
 
I am writing to ask about a former B-26 pilot whose squadron was stationed in England.

His name is Bill Hahn, and he was my 7th grade science teacher in 1950 in Wethersfield, Connecticut. He later moved to Darien, Connecticut and taught in the school system there for many years.

Now and then Bill Hahn would tell B-26 stories to the class, and I remember them all, from taking the Brazil-Africa route to England, to his opinion on which was worse, fighters or flak (he said flak because at least you could see the fighters).

Bill Hahn also lived in my neighborhood, and was admired by all. I don’t know his squadron, but I wanted to send this message in tribute to a terrific guy and brave pilot who flew the B-26 in combat.
 
Clark Whelton

William A. Hahn, 397th BG, 599th BS, co-pilot and pilot .ed

Date:
9/2/2012
Time:
7:11 PM
 
Sunday Sept 2, 2012

To: Editor et al B26.com

Good evening gentlemen: This is a preliminary note to find out if your website is “alive and operational” in order not to write my own story of WW2 and more during which I flew as co-pilot-navigator on two B26 bombers from Miami to Cairo and on to Palestine for the RAF based there. I was part of the secret without passport and country who ferried bombers under lend lease before the attack on Pearl Harbor which was called Atlantic Airways LTD and which became Pan American Air Ferries after Pearl Harbor was bombed.

During the flight from Accra to Kano and onto Maidduro ???? to El Fasher and Khartoum, we stopped at El Fasher RAF Base. In departure from the some 4000 foot raised some 4 foot runway with some plus 110 degree temperature the plane was too fast to stop and too slow to fly. We settled fprtimatey slowly enough to get the lift from air pressure against the shrub covered ground. We heard the brush banging on the cowling and the fuselage but it did no damage to the props and landing gear and open covers. It seemed eternity until we were actually airborne and safely on our way to Khartoum to stop and later proceed to Palestine. At Khartoum after landing, the men on the ground asked whether we were chasing camels.

I have much, much, much more both before and beyond which is of interest to anyone interested in aircraft and particularly in planes used in warfare. If you want more information, I will be pleased to send it to you as soon as I can write it and dig out the photos I have. Capt. Sherman Best has a bit on your website and he is long time on the net friend of mine as is Stan Wood who flew P38s along with others. Just so you know, I am now an active on the net age 97 veteran of WW2, Berlin Airlift, Korea and Vietnam who made my last military flight into Saigon under fire flying a DC8 “stretch” jet in 1974 just before I became 60 and was no longer allowed to exercise my ATR for Commercial flying. We had been flying for the military CRAF program. You can see my earliest flying by Googling Willmott Roosevelt Field and scrolling about half way or more to see my photos of the Texaco 12 views from the air and see my attached story.

You have an amazingly wonderful website. And anything I can add to make it better and fill in parts which remain untold, I would be happy to send them.

I am writing this with magnifying equipment supplied by the USA people via the VA which enabled my only one eye read and handle the net in spite of my recent macular degeneration. Also please excuse my typing errors from my stiffening fingers often hitting the intended target.

Thank you for your time and interest. Please acknowledge this with any questions and suggestion which are welcome.

Cheerio with 73 and 88 as warranted.

John W. Willmott aka Jolly Uncle John

Date:
9/2/2012
Time:
9:48 AM
 
Hi, Thought you would like a photo of the plaque my late father Arthur Evans organized to have erected in memory of the crew lost in Snowdonia.

Kind regards,
Eifion Evans
 
[large]

Date:
8/29/2012
Time:
1:54 PM
 
hello all

I am trying to find information pictures or stories that relate to a particular Marauder. My reason for this request is for my grandfather. His brother died in a marauder but due to the lack of info and the mod he has only recently been able to find how, where and when his brother died. From the records my grandfather has been able to gain access to his brothers aircraft which was listed DNR.

His name was P Daley. The squadron he flew with was the 14th the aircraft he was in was FK 142 R this was from what i can tell the Dominion triumph. On the 14th association website the following is listed "Missing from Recce Mission from Ghissonnaccia"

the crew F/Sgt MC Reid, F/S JT Brown, W/O A Western, F/Sgt TN Gilchrist, F/Sgt WH Carr, F/Sgt P Daley are all listed missing. The only information the mod could give to add to this was that a rescue aircraft was sent out and spotted lifeboats with crew aboard, water and supplies were dropped they unfortunately were not able to pick up due to weather they returned the following day the boats could not be found. i am hoping to find out as much as i can my grandfather is in his 80's and he is trying to fill in all the blanks. Also due to me being an avid modeller he has asked me to build a model of the aircraft. I would like to get it as close as possible to the real thing. any pictures of the aircraft its crew or info with regards to missions or how the circumstances surrounding its loss would be really appreciated. I hope to hear from you all soon

thank you,
Michael Daley

"Triumph" F/Sgt MC Reid, F/S JT Brown, W/O A Western, F/Sgt TN Gilchrist, F/Sgt WH Carr, F/Sgt P Daley

Date:
8/27/2012
Time:
10:09 PM
 
On the History of the 69th Bomb Squadron, what are the full names of Sergeant Decker, Corporal Sietz, and Corporal Owen?  I want to add their names to my DSC list. Thanks for keeping this website going. -R Villegas

Date:
8/25/2012
Time:
2:35 PM
 
Hi, I am doing some research on Thursday, April 12, 1945 - 386th Bomb Group Mission Number 395. If anybody has additional information, please contact me.

Best regards,
Stefan Rasser
Biberach Germany

Date:
8/23/2012
Time:
8:09 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: 1st Lt. Frank E. Darden
Bomb Group: 391
Bomb Squadron: 573
Years in service: From his flight log:
5/4/43 first flight from Door Field
7/5/43 First Flight Gunter Field
9/6/43 first flight from George field
12/3/43 trained on B-26 from Barksdale
2/22/44 tested new ship at Hunter
2/26/44 Left for Europe from Homestead.
3/8/44 landed in England - St. Mawgans
5/1/44 Flew from 166 to Douai, France
1/13/45 Left Europe for US

I have his complete flight log...

I am Kathleen Darden Adams, daughter of Lt Frank E. Darden. I am writing regarding the photo of my Dad on http://www.b26.com/historian/dane_donato/01.htm. The description under the photo of my Dad's plane "OH FRANKIE" says my Dad was co-pilot. I believe he was the pilot. I have a large copy of this photo, and it clearly says on the side of the plane "LT F. E. Darden Pilot". After finding this picture online, however, I have noticed that he is sitting in the co-pilot's seat, and his hand with his Air Force ring could be covering up "CO". All his military paperwork says he was a B-26 pilot. and his logbook is a "Senior Pilot Log". We did not find the copy of the photo until after my Dad passed away - but his children, grand children, and great grandchildren were all SO excited to learn his plane was named after him. I am looking for any and all information about my Dad, and about the plane "OH FRANKIE". Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Kathie Adams
----------------------------------------------------
Kathie... My grandfather, James Huge Thurmon, was on "Oh Frankie" 43-45! In 2007, just before he passed, he was interviewed by our local art/history gallery. It says that he recalls the pilot being Frank "Dillard". Now my grandfather was old and sometimes he couldn't remember stuff well but maybe he meant Frank Darden. Im not sure the proper term but he was a turret gunner and the guy that turned the bombs out. He flew 75 missions on Oh Frankie and kept a bomb tag from each mission. I don't know if we have any photos of him with the plane or crew but I can do some checking.

Date:
8/22/2012
Time:
9:41 AM
 
Charlie Albert Smith Jr. was born on January 18, 1922 to Willie Mae (McDonald) Smith and Charlie Albert Smith Sr. in Woodville, Tyler Co., Texas. He was raised in Woodville and graduated from Kirby High School in 1939. He worked for Wood Fain Enterprises from the time he was about 12 years old. He enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps in January, 1942 just a few short days before his 20th birthday. He spent three years overseas in the European Theater of Operation (322 Bombardment Group; 451st Squadron). The war ended in 1945 and he rotated back to the USA in October, 1945. By that time his family had moved to Houston. The first part of November 1945, he went to Newton, Texas to visit with some of the Fain Family. Minnie Pearl (Fain) Townsend introduced him to Bonnie Lou Jones. A true love story (chosen by God) began. Charlie and Bonnie were married on Jan. 12, 1946. They have been married 66 and 1/2 years. Charlie retired from the Business System Division of Eastman Kodak Co. after 34 years of service. Charlie and Bonnie raised two wonderful sons in San Antonio, Texas. Charlie and Bonnie retired to Newton and built a retirement home on April 1, 1983. They became members of First Baptist Church (not the same church as now) where they both served the Lord. Charlie was ordained a deacon in the church and subsequently became both Chairman of the Deacons and taught the oldest men's Sunday School Class for over 20 years. Charlie was a unique husband and daddy. His constant thoughts were the welfare of his family. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie, sons: Charlie Albert Smith III and wife, Frieda of Kerrville, TX and Stanley Kurt Smith and wife, Kathy of Waxahachie, TX, grandsons, Travis and Cameron Smith of Canyon Lake, Tx, granddaughters, Tina Hess (Buzzy's daughter) of Fairview, Ok and Brandy Helm (Stanley's daughter) of Red Oak, Tx., siblings: Garland Smith and wife, Linda of Sacramento, Ca: sisters: Brenda Brignac and husband Winston of Gonzales, La.; Linda Everett of Humble, Tx; sister-in-law, Helen Smith of Humble, TX. and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm on Sunday, July 29th at Smith Funeral Home in Newton, Tx. Christian Services will be on Monday, July 30, 2012 in the Chapel of Smith Funeral Home at 10:00 am with private interment in the Newton City Cemetery.

P. S. S/SGT Photo Tech…..Photo of his group on cover of Life Magazine recently found on Internet by his oldest son: Charlie A. Smith, III aka “Buzz”. The photo was taken by the Plane: “Pappy’s Pram”. I was so happy to have attended his 50th Sqd. Reunion at the Air Force Academy with him and meet some of his buddies. Charlie left us an album of photos which will some day be given to the B-26 Museum.

Bonnie L. Smith

Date:
8/20/2012
Time:
6:29 PM
 
My uncle, William Thomas Grigsby, CPL, USAAF, XXXX5144 was a crew member in the 572nd and was killed on October 15 1944.  He is buried in Epanol, France.

Cpl William Thomas Grigsby was killed 15 Oct 44 by walking backwards into a rotating propeller, he had just found out that his wife had given birth to their first child. A tragic accident. -Trevor Allen, historian

Date:
8/20/2012
Time:
6:25 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Harold Heimroth
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 442
Years in service:
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments:

I would like to find out how I can order replacement metals that my grandfather won. They were lost after my grandmother past away and I would like to make a shadow box display to give to my mother who has his pilots hat and burial flag on display. Is there anyplace that I can order these?

Thank you, Todd Ellis

Date:
8/20/2012
Time:
11:16 AM
 
My father, Harvey Kaufman, would like to post a picture and an article at your web site honoring George William Blancard. He was friends with George in New York City before the war. My father became a 1st Lieutenant and Bombardier who flew 50 missions(B17, 301 BG) from June 1943 to November 1943. He would like to honor George and discovered a Family member Louis George Newman already posted a tribute to him. How can we post these items at George Blancard's web page? Is there a way to put us in contact with Louis George Newman who requested in his tribute a response from someone who knew George Blancard? We've been trying to contact the relative Louis George Newman to let him know somebody remembers and to look at the new posted pictures. Thank you. -Melinda Kaufman

Date:
8/11/2012
Time:
2:11 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: 1st Lt. Frank E. Darden
Bomb Group: 391
Bomb Squadron: 573
Years in service: From his flight log:
5/4/43 first flight from Door Field
7/5/43 First Flight Gunter Field
9/6/43 first flight from George field
12/3/43 trained on B-26 from Barksdale
2/22/44 tested new ship at Hunter
2/26/44 Left for Europe from Homestead.
3/8/44 landed in England - St. Mawgans
5/1/44 Flew from 166 to Douai, France
1/13/45 Left Europe for US

I have his complete flight log...

I am Kathleen Darden Adams, daughter of Lt Frank E. Darden. I am writing regarding the photo of my Dad on http://www.b26.com/historian/dane_donato/01.htm. The description under the photo of my Dad's plane "OH FRANKIE" says my Dad was co-pilot. I believe he was the pilot. I have a large copy of this photo, and it clearly says on the side of the plane "LT F. E. Darden Pilot". After finding this picture online, however, I have noticed that he is sitting in the co-pilot's seat, and his hand with his Air Force ring could be covering up "CO". All his military paperwork says he was a B-26 pilot. and his logbook is a "Senior Pilot Log". We did not find the copy of the photo until after my Dad passed away - but his children, grand children, and great grandchildren were all SO excited to learn his plane was named after him. I am looking for any and all information about my Dad, and about the plane "OH FRANKIE". Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Kathie Adams

Date:
8/11/2012
Time:
11:08 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: LeRoy P. Percy
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 34th
Years in service: 1943-1945
Graduation Class: 44-B?
Class Location:??
Comments: I am looking for help in getting information/documents/photos about my grandfather, LeRoy Percy, and his service during WWII. I have collected many documents from Maxwell Base's research facility and some others on my own through the Internet but was wondering if you or any of your contacts could help me collect information (especially photos) concerning my grandfather's service or point me in the right direction.



He was stationed in Dijon, France and flew 19 combat missions before V-E Day, and his crew (as they appear in the attached photo, left to right) are as follows: Percy--pilot; John Roberts--co-pilot (only surviving member); Bueford C. Holverson--navigator/bombardier; James E. Hammond--radio operator; William D. Minter--crew chief/turret gunner; and Irving R. Schwartz--tail gunner. He got his training at the following bases: Miami Beach, FL; Knoxville, TN; Nashville, TN, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, AL; Arcadia, FL; Gunter Field, Montgomery, AL; Columbus, MS; Del Rio, Texas; Lake Charles, LA; and Hunter Field, GA.

Would the plane in the photo be the one he flew, or did they pose for crew pictures in front of any nearby B-26? If it's his, is there more information available on this plane?
Where could I locate some good period photos and other documents of the various training facilities mentioned above? Or find some pictures/documents (besides on your website) of the 17th BG at Dijon? And if anyone on your guestbook is familiar with my grandfather and/or his crew, or with the places mentioned above, please contact me.

Also, for those interested in the 17th and 320th Bomb Groups while stationed at Dijon, an excellent web site to check out is run by Dan Gilberti [here]. It shows the entire history (with plenty of documents and photos, though the text is in French) of the Dijon/Longvic airfield in France, from its use by the French before and after WWII, to the German and American use during the war, with special sections dedicated to the 17th and 320th Bomb Groups.

Many thanks for your help.
Sincerely,
William A. Percy

Date:
8/10/2012
Time:
4:39 PM
 
Hi, my name is Jonathan Guzman and I am posting this for my late grandfather, whom I never met. His name is John T. Wilson and was a pilot for the 391st bomb group during World War Two. He was shot down over France on May 27th 1944. He was held as a prisoner of war and was later returned to the United States. While he survived the war, he later succumbed to lung cancer before I was born. If anyone knows him or anything of him, please contact me - thank you.

Here is everything I know about him - he was a 2nd Lt., his serial # is XXXX201. I have evidence that fellow members of his crew are 2nd Lt. Donat F. Dauteuil, 2nd Lt. Martin G. Koehler, Sgt. Charles C. Wade, Sgt. Eugene Rider, and Cpl Walter F. Poleski.

He was either the pilot or copilot of a b26 bomber, and I believe he was in the 575th squadron of the 391st bomb group.

The name of the mission in which he was shot down is "Mission to St. Pierre du Vuvray Bridge, France"

Date:
8/9/2012
Time:
1:30 PM
 
T Kenneth L. Reddy
1941-1942
Doolittle's Raiders

Killed in September 1942 while on routine training mission near Pinnacle Mountain, Little Rock, AR. Kenneth was born in Bowie, TX on June 29, 1920 and died from wounds suffered as the result of his B-26D on September 3, 1942. He enlisted on November 23, 1940 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps on July 11, 1941. He was co-pilot of Crew # 11 in Doolittle's Raiders in the Tokyo Raid of April 1942. The crew crash landed in China and survived that chapter of his military career. I have included two photos; the first taken just after repatriation by the Chinese Army in April 1942 and the second, his crew on the B-26. I don't have names unfortunately. I am attempting to gain more information from the Arkansas Historic Commission and surviving family members. I grew up in Bowie, TX and went to school with his nieces and nephews however he was gone some two years prior to my birth. His awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Chinese Army, Navy, Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.

1st LT Kenneth E Reddy, 22, Bowie, TX, Pilot
2nd LT Charles s. Bachbill, 21, Williamsport, PA, Co-Pilot
2nd LT Phillip Williams, 23, Hinsdale, IL, Navigator/Bombardier
SGT Thomas T Roberts, 22, Knoxville, TN, Flight Engineer
CPL Dominic T. Moduno, 20, Brooklyn, NY, Radio Operator
PVT Thomas A. Naylon, 33, Pittsburgh, PA, Asst. Radio Operator


Crew members of B-26A Marauder, Tail Nr. 41-7441 which crashed on September 3, 1942 approximately seven miles northwest of Little Rock, AR near what is now Pinnacle Mountain State Park. According to witnesses, the aircraft was on a westerly course and nose dived into the earth erupting into flame and utterly destroying it. No cause of crash was determined and it is unsure if crew remains were recovered or not. The aircraft was attached to Barksdale AAFS, Louisiana and on a routine training flight.

Billy Hollaway, LT, USN-Retired

Date:
8/9/2012
Time:
11:51 AM
 
These are photos and comments for Burton Lee Vreeland's dedication page along with dedication page text & photos in attachments. Both Doris & Burt passed away January 22nd (Doris) and July 12th (Burton) of 2012.
 
Richard Lee Vreeland, Son

Date:
8/9/2012
Time:
11:01 AM
 
You folks Do a GREAT job.

In your 2010 archives there was a post by Paul Shaffer. He is grandson to Capt. John H. Shaffer PIC of the Marauder 295-165. 397-BG and transferred to 387-BG at wars end. I believe the craft at one point was named "Big Hairy Bird" then "Cuddles" after Capt. Shaffer took command.

I have here what I 'think' is the original photo of the craft. Also the original army text on the back below.

[large]

If you could help me find grandson Paul I would be honored to send him the original.

Regards,
Patrick James

PNA FRA 101024

U.S. BOMBER SHOWS TEETH
A Ninth U.S. Air Force B-26 Marauder bombing plane soars through through the sky with its decoration of vicious-looking teeth that represent the striking power of its bomb load and guns. It is piloted by Captain John H. Shaffer who calls his ship "Cuddies," his name for his wife On the Western Front, Ninth U.S. Ninth US Bombardment Division Marauders are attacking German strongholds, concentrations and transports in softening up operations preceding the advance of Allied forces, notably of the First and Third U.S. Armies. Ninth U.S. Air Force Photo 0192.
 
RESERVED BY LONDON OWI (INNER FULL) CERTIFIED AS PASSED BY SHAEF CENSOR

Patrick, just an FYI - neither names "Big Hairy Bird" or "Cuddles" were painted on this aircraft they were just affectionately known as this. -Cheers, Trevor Allen

Date:
8/9/2012
Time:
10:05 AM
 
On August 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM Post 41 American Legion will conduct a Rededication of Lauren Cowallis Gravesite, Lyford Road , Orneville Township . Directions to the cemetery are as follows: Travel out Lyford Road (Route 11) approximately 2.3 miles from the intersection of Elm Street , Milo (Route 6 & 16). You will see address 644 Lyford Road on a mailbox on the right side of the road. The cemetery is just beyond that mailbox on the left. If you are coming from the south ensure you get to the correct cemetery as there are several small cemeteries along the route. You may want to travel until you see the mailbox 644 and then reverse direction. Attached is a program for the day’s events. If you have any questions, please call Commander of Post 41, American Legion, Terry Knowles. Members of Post 41 will meet at the Legion Hall at 11:00 am to load equipment and prepare for the event.

Thank you,
Terrance R. Knowles, Command Sergeant Major, US Army Retired
Post 41 American Legion Commander

Date:
8/5/2012
Time:
11:12 AM
 
Hi, I happened across your 16th Tow Target Squadron page while looking for information on my father’s 6114 Tow Target Squadron based out of Johnson AB, Japan. Johnson is now called Irama and is under the control of the Japanese Defense Command.

Dad was stationed there from 7/14/51 through 12/15/53. I was there from June, 1952 until he was reassigned in 1953.

As I remember, sometime during his tour of duty, the squadron was re-named to the 6th Tow Target Squadron.

I have not been able to find much information on either the 6114th or 6th Tow Target Squadron nor Johnson AB during mid 1951 thru late 1953.

Attached is a picture which I believe was one of the Tow Target aircraft flying past Mt. Fuji in the early 50s.

[large]

My father’s name was Andrew D. Frink (XXXX8012) and he was a Captain at that time.

Tom Frink

Date:
8/4/2012
Time:
11:33 AM
 
Am interested in knowing more about the 558th Bomb Squadron, 387th Bomb Group activities in WW 2. I am Owen Cottle, was an aircraft armorer in the 558th at Chipping Onger, England from April 1944 until April 1945.Would be interested in knowing names of any other ground crew from that period if available. I loaded bombs and cleaned 50 cal machine guns on B 26 named Pugnacious Peggy and Screaming Eagle and some others. Appreciate any info that may be available. - Owen B Cottle

Date:
8/3/2012
Time:
4:10 PM
 
I'm doing research on Edgar "Duke" Beal who was killed on April 18, 1945. He was engaged to be married to my mother who was waiting in Wyoming for his return. My mother has since died but she had a photo in her belongings. According to my mother Duke was the only fatality on the mission. Any information on the mission would be appreciated.



Thank you, Bob

Date:
7/26/2012
Time:
7:25 PM
 
My dad was a B-26 pilot. His name is Raymond L. Purfeerst. I believe he was in England, Belgium and France. His captain's name was Monk, I believe. Other crew members were Joe Gerarity, and Bill Prince. Before going overseas he was on Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana, I think. He passed away on March 22, 1999.

I would like to know more about this part of his life. Anything… how many missions he flew, the name of his plane, someone who knew him, anything. He never would talk about it, except that he hated potatoes because he ate so many cold rotten ones during the war. he has no idea the pride and admiration I feel for him and all those very brave men.

Thank you,
Beth Paul-Petersen

Date:
7/23/2012
Time:
11:06 AM
 
I have attached a photo of Robert E. Howard, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces, Service # XXXX4605, 450th Bomber Squadron, 322nd Bomber Group, Medium. Entered the Service from Iowa. Died: 16-Apr-45. Missing in Action or Buried at Sea.

[large]

Tablets of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery Margraten, Netherlands. Awards: Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple

I want to forward this so anyone who might be interested can use it. Our family has recently been contacted by a researcher stating they have found the wing of the downed plane and remains. Robert was my uncle. The researcher is emailing information soon. Thank you SO much for your response.

Korina Hurley

Date:
7/15/2012
Time:
4:05 PM
 
George V. Cuzzolino
Educator and War Hero
1925-2012

George V. Cuzzolino, 87 of Westfield, NJ entered into eternal rest on Saturday, July 14, 2012, surrounded by his loving family.

Mr. Cuzzolino was born in Newark to Frank and Mary (Sinisgalli) Cuzzolino. He proudly served his country in the US Army Air Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant during WWII with the 387th Bomb Group serving as bombardier navigator aboard a B-26 Martin Marauder bomber. He flew 33 combat missions in Europe and was the recipient of 5 oak leaf clusters and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.

Mr. Cuzzolino was a graduate of Newark East Side High School, attended the University of Florida, and received bachelors and masters degrees from Montclair State College. He was instrumental in the opening of David Brearley High School in Kenilworth, NJ where he served as Assistant Principal for 25 years, retiring in 1990. Prior to that he taught history and social studies and coached football at Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark NJ. He was past president of the Kenilworth Lions Club and a former member of the Knights of Columbus of Iselin.

Mr. Cuzzolino was the beloved husband for 62 years of Mrs. Janet L. (Funcheon) Cuzzolino and the devoted father of Mr. Raymond Cuzzolino and his wife Bonnie, Dr. Robert Cuzzolino and his wife Karen, Mr. Wayne Cuzzolino, Mr. Gregory Cuzzolino and his wife Catherine and Mrs. Diane Hartman and her husband Michael. He was the cherished grandfather of Alison, Daniel, Megan, Natalie, Emma, Joseph, Thomas, Michael, Jillian and April. He was predeceased by his sister, Mr. Rita Kennis.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to visitation on Tuesday, July 17 from 4-8 PM at Walter J. Johnson Funeral Home, 803 Raritan Road, Clark, NJ. The funeral will be from the funeral home on Wednesday, July 18 at 9:00 AM, thence to St. Helen’s R.C. Church, Westfield, where a funeral mass will be offered at 10:00 AM. Internment will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Westfield. To offer condolences or for more information, please visit www.walterjohnsonfh.com

Date:
7/13/2012
Time:
11:54 AM
 
Hi, I appreciate your website. Great Job.

My Uncle, Chester J. Mann Jr., was shot down in "Son Of Satan" on 11/18/44. He was the only survivor and was a POW for some time in Germany. He is 92 and lives next door to me. I saw the article on the "Son Of Satan" crash site by Thomas McCord posted in 2011. Mr. McCord states that he is willing to have contact with family members of the "Son Of Satan" crew. There is no contact info for him in the article. I am wondering if you could give me that info either as an e-mail or address.

Thank you, James Lee Jr.
 
Contact made with Thomas McCord, a part is being sent to Mr. Mann.

Date:
7/6/2012
Time:
11:58 PM
 
Marauderman's name: S/Sgt. Roy A. Lewis
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 496th
Years in Service: 23 June 42 to 23 Aug 45
Graduating Class: Aerial Gunners Aug. 27, 1942
Harlingen, Tx.
According to discharge papers:
Battles and Campaigns: Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe
Decorations and Citations:
EAME Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
Air Medal with 6 oak leaf clusters
Crew Members:
James S. Gleinser P
Durwood W. Vandervoort CP
James A. Gorman Jr. B
Edward V. Sanderson EG
William E. Heichel ROG
Roy A. Lewis AG

Plane Nickname: unknown
except for photograph with S/Sgt. Lewis on nose of plane with Queen of Hearts card

I am Charles A. Lewis the youngest son of Roy A. Lewis. My older brother John is my dad's only other child. .We lost our beloved father in 1984. My brother and I have always been very proud of my dad's service on the B26 in WWII and have had hopes of finding out more details of his service during the war. I was delighted to find the site recently when browsing the net and I wanted to get his information up on the site in hopes that some of the families of his crew would connect and share, and that we might learn more about some of the specific battles and particularly base locations of his plane in Europe. Dad didn't talk much of his wartime experiences but I do still remember him talking about how cold it was and mentioning Begium, France, and England .My dad was an armorer gunner and served as a gunner instructor before going to Europe Fortunately I have fairly detailed records including all the individual flight records and also quite a few photos taken during his time in Europe. Also, my mother, who saved everything, saved every letter sent during the war years. so I have some idea where he was at different dates during the war simply because he always noted such at the head of each letter such as "Ireland, Sept. 1, 1944".
Here is some more information that I have taken from his records:
Completed 39 1/2 missions ( I have details of all his flight records from training in the States to European theater.)
Bases and locations:
Lowrey Field, Col.
Avon Park Bombing Range Florida April 1943-Oct 1943
McDill Field, Tampa Fl. Oct. 1943-Nov. 1943
Lake Charles, La. Nov. 1943- July 1944
Hunter Field, Ga.
Bangor, Me. ( From here to Europe. I believe by ship ) crew # fq-cl-27
the following based on letter notations and station #'s on flight records:
England Jul-Aug. 1944
Ireland Aug.-Sept 1944 APO #140
England Sept 1944
France Sept. 1944-Mar. 1945 Station A-59
Begium April 1945-? Station A-78

I am attaching some photos. In the small crew photo top to bottom left to right it is: Vandervoort, Gorman, Gleisner
Hechel, Sanderson, Lewis

In the larger crew photo taken in line in front of the plane it is: Gleisner, Vandervoort, Gorman, Sanderson, Heichel, Lewis

Thanks very much and I would like very much to have any information on specific mission targets, base locations etc. or at least find out where to find this information.
Also. Hello William Heichel if you are still out there. I just found your post from 2002 and would like to share what I have with you.
Charles Lewis

Date:
7/6/2012
Time:
8:45 AM
 
I came upon this web site. Is there anything in here about Col Wilson R Wood of Chico Texas. I think he was with the 323BG. He was my base commander at Maxwell AFB in 1965 and I grew up about 20 miles from his home.

I just ordered the book Marauder – memoirs of B26 Pilot which I think has some info on him.

Thanks,
Dan Bishop

Date:
7/6/2012
Time:
1:35 AM
 
Hello,
I am Danny Biesmans from Holland. I adopted Louis J Cubba from the state Michigan. He was tail gunner in the plane "Little Jo". He was in the 554th bomb sq and 386th bomb gp medium. Can somebody help me on information for his family in America?

Thank you very much.
Danny Biesmans

Date:
7/4/2012
Time:
6:31 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Sam Citro
Bomb Group: 391 Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 9th Air Group
Years in service: 4?
Comments: My father-in-law, Sam Citro, served as the bombardier on a B26 stationed in England. I believe that the Captain and CO is named Frank Hiller. I think Frank is still alive and well. They were the last two surviving members of the crew.

Sam passed away on 7/2/2012 after a brief illness. Sam loved to fly. Like many of the returning veterans, Sam did not speak much about his tour of duty. He went without question and just did what he had to do. I would love to more about the 391st and the crew.

Date:
6/29/2012
Time:
9:34 PM
 
My father, AC “Bub” Mahan served in the 322nd Bomber Group, 451st Bomb Squadron. I know he flew with Myron “Whity” Sterngold, Al Prestridge, and Billy Morrill all of whom are deceased. I am looking for anyone who served with them that is still living. I would like to learn as much about their experiences as possible.

Please use the information below for contact.

Jim Mahan

Date:
6/28/2012
Time:
4:28 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Anton Christensen
Bomb Group: 336
Bomb Squadron: 480th
I am looking for information and pictures of crew members and squadron on my Uncle Anton who was killed in a training flight 31Aug1943 stationed at Avon Park Fl. Tail Number 41-35174. I have no pictures of him or friends while in the service.

Many thanks for your service.

Keith Christensen

Keith,
At 11.57 hours on 31st August 1943 B-26 41-35174 0f the 480th Bomb Squadron 336th Bomb Group based at Avon Park, Florida was struck in the cockpit by a P-47 Thunderbolt
making a simulated frontal fighter attack at 2,000 feet. The B-26 flew on for a short while before beginning a gentle descending turn to the right slamming into the ground and
exploding into flames, scattering debris over an area of 100 yards 5 miles NNE of of Lake Griffin, Florida. The entire crew were killed in the crash.
I trust this information will end your quest for information.
Regards
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
6/27/2012
Time:
8:08 AM
 
S/Sgt George K Dusang was 454 Bomb Squad 323 Bomb Group. He was killed on a mission 4th April 1944 when another plane from the squadron collided with them in heavy cloud cover. Only two members of the crew were able to bale out. George and the remaining crew members were lost

George's Cousin from Louisiana was Sgt. Clifford G Dusang. He was with the 30th Infantry Div 120th Regiment. They were known as The Old Hickories. Clifford survived D-Day but was Killed in Action during the Battle of the Bulge on 15 January 1945 near THIRIMONT. Clifford was never returned to the USA but is buried in the HENRI-CHAPELLE CEMETERY BELGIUM.

Two cousins who never lived to fulfill their dreams.

One of Clifford Dusangs sons is still alive, and is my Cousin Vincent Dusang. He allowed me to research the War Records for his Fathers details.

Clifford Dusang was married to my Mother's Sister, and had two Sons. Paul and Vincent. Paul has since died, but Vincent has been tracing the Dusang Family for some time. He found out the information about Cliffords Cousin S/Sgt George K Dusang during this research with the remaining Dusang Family members in Louisiana and France.

The details that were given to him about George Dusang were that he was flying Aircraft No. 41-31807 his 25th final mission on the night of 11th April 1944 and that as this would be the crews final mission. The two mid/gunners decided to switch turrets. George switched his Top turret with waist gunner T/Sgt Roscoe Harkey. My Cousin was told that during this final mission, the Aircraft was hit with heavy Flak, and Georges turret received a direct hit and he was killed.

It would appear that the Missing Aircrew Report for 11th April 1944 for this Aircraft by the two surviving flyers gives the true story of Georges death.

The two survivors of the mid air collision were S/Sgt Roscoe Harkey and Armour Gunner S/Sgt Raymond k Greenwood

The full details of the MAR is given against the details for S/Sgt Everett Chrisco Bombardier 454th Bomber Grp

Hans Hanagarth

Date:
6/18/2012
Time:
7:06 PM
 
My father-in-law, J.C. Goodwin, Jr., flew B-26s with the 587th Sqdrn, 394th Bm Gp, 9th Bm Wing, 9th AAF. His first missions were on the days of 7-9 Aug 44 for which his unit was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation. It was also the one where the pilot from the 587th won the Medal of Honor. J.C. said that during those three days he flew his first mission and 3 out of 6 of his formations B-26s were shot down. Pretty unnerving for his first mission! He said he wouldn’t have given you a plug nickel for his chances of surviving the war. But he went on to complete 48 missions by the time the war was over. He was offered the chance to fly some leaflet missions to get up to 50 missions but he declined the honor! He was very proud of his contribution to winning the war and was a huge supporter of the B-26. Later after the war he became a civil engineer and worked for the Department of Agriculture until he retired. He died in June of 1999. His wife, daughters and son-in-law are very proud of his service. He really didn’t tell them much until his son-in-law, a Vietnam veteran, became a member of the family and then he started opening up with a few stories. It truly was the greatest generation.

LTC Richard H. Burns AUS (Ret.)

Date:
6/18/2012
Time:
3:58 PM
 
Stuart Tucker. I am Dick Brooks, and I had the privilege to fly with your Dad, Tommy. For some reason our crew never got together or corresponded after we left, England. I did meet Tommy one evening several years ago at the Outer Banks , N.C. We had a good time over dinner, but have not contacted each other since. I am sorry to hear of his passing. I am looking forward to my 90th birthday in August. The Tommy Tucker I knew was a 1st Lt. The Colonel label is a surprise to me. As to the crew of "MISS BEHAVIN", Tommy of course was the pilot, next to him is Joe Adamson, co pilot, Dick Brooks bombardier-navigator, Sgts Paul Nichols, tailgunner, Nate Geren, radio and Jay Brennan Engineer, Top gunner. We made a good crew and really got along very well.

I have viewed B26.com for many years. The 2006 Guest book inquiry from Alf Johannessen, 3/18/2006 contains a crew picture of "Miss Behavin". We were in 575th Sq. 391st BG. All had 70 or more missions from 2/44 to 10/44 and all returned home safe and sound. I really appreciate your work and dedication. If you make contact with any of the other crew, please let me know.

Best Regards, Dick Brooks

Date:
6/18/2012
Time:
4:16 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Glenn F. Grau
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 556th
Years in service: 1942-1947
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Roswell, NM
Comments: Glenn Gray was my uncle. I am sorry to say he passed away in 2009. Back in 1999 some of the family videotaped an interview with Glenn about his WWII experiences. I am now working on editing that video for DVD and would like to intersperse as much pictures and other detail as I can into the stories that Glenn told.

Travis Thompson - you mentioned you had several pictures of Glenn and of aircraft. I would love to have copies of them. Glenn mentions your grandfather (Walt Woodcock) in the interview.

If anyone could help me get in touch with Travis, I would appreciate it.

Glenn mentions several people and tells several stories in the interview - the Ijmuiden/Leiston crash, crash at Cherbourg, losing Tom Alford, Manny Campbell, Deacon Hively, King Size Thompson, Glenn Murray, Lloyd Frazier and several others.

Please contact me if you can add to the details of Glenn's stories.

I would be happy to provide a free copy of the resulting DVD to anyone who helps.

Tom Gray

Date:
6/17/2012
Time:
3:04 AM
 
Hi, I was born in the UK in 1944 at a place called Aldeburgh on the East Suffolk coast and cannot remember a time when I have not looked skywards at the sound of an aircraft overhead. Currently, I live in the county of Surrey about five miles south of London Heathrow Airport. I have a clear view of the western approach which means that the habit of my early years continues unabated.

Right now I'm looking at V-1 sites in the Pas de Calais. We shall be staying with friends close to a site at Audincthun in a few weeks. I hope to take a look around on the ground while we are there.

I have copies of one or two aerial photographs from the UK National Archives showing the bomb plots on the site after a mission carried out by the 322nd and 386th Bombardment Groups on December 24th 1943.

I see from your website that there is a listing of the 386th BG combat missions, Chester Klier is amazing. Those that I have opened are excellent and very educational. I was wondering whether a similar account might be available for the mission mentioned above to Audincthun from either or both of the Bombardment Groups involved.

Many thanks, best regards and congratulations on an excellent website.

Geoff Dewing

Geoff, Chester asks if you will exchange information with him? He said, "I am happy to assist you any way I can."

Date:
6/16/2012
Time:
6:19 PM
 
Hi, I'm trying to find out any info about my father. His name was Bernard Rothchild ... dob; 02-14-24 from Brooklyn, NY. He was in the 8th/AAF/ETO. He was a pilot of a B-26. He trained at Sesquhana, PA and did the southern route to the ETO. Any info would be great. -Sid

Date:
6/15/2012
Time:
9:19 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Joseph Calderone
Bomb Group:
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service: 1944-1946 ?
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Baltimore
Comments: My father, Joseph Calderone, was a mechanic (I think) in a B-26 squadron. I am not sure of any details but he told me that his plane was painted yellow. His service records indicate that, he went to the Pacific in 1944. If anyone knew him, I would like to hear from them.
 
My father was in the Marines from Jul 1943 until April 1946. He entered as a Private and was a Staff Sergeant when he was discharged. He trained on Parris Island and then went to school in Tennessee . A picture that I have of him has a title at the top that reads as follows: AMM M-20 Sec.B NATTC Memphis 44. I assume that this is the school he attended in Memphis, Tenn. to become a Avn. Mach. Mate B-26 as it states in his records. His records indicate that he went to the Pacific in June of 1945 and returned in 1946. His records also show that he was part of VMJ-2, MAG-21 which sounds similar to what you mentioned (US Navy JM-1 target tug).

As far as I know, he was not directly involved in combat, but he had some very disturbing pictures of dead Japanese soldiers in an album that also had pictures of a B-26 (with him standing next to it) that I remember seeing. I don’t know were he got the combat pictures, if he took them or someone else did. Unfortunately these pictures have since been lost. I remember him also talking about his plane coming in for a crash landing but I don’t know why that would be, given his assignment.

In any event, any light that you could shine on his service would be greatly appreciated.

Joseph Calderone II

Joseph,
You now know the unit VMJ-2 was a Marine tow target Squadron using the JM-1,and as you rightly say part of Marine Air Group-21 10th October 1944 the unit was commissioned at MCAS Ewa as VMTD-2 to train in towing aerial targets and tracking missions for Marine AA Battalions. After two months at Maui towing for the 5th Marine Division the entire detachment of 117 men and 6 JM-1's with 5R5C'a of VMR-953 left on 24th November 1944 for Agana, Guam. The JM-1's of this detachment towed targets and carried out radar tracking daily for AAA units on Guam, Saipan and Tinian. On 1st May 1945 the unit was redesignated as VMJ-2.
Cheers,
Trevor

Date:
6/13/2012
Time:
1:04 PM
 
Can anybody ID the guys in the photo? They served with the 598th Bomb Squadron, 397th Bomb Group. The B-26 in the background you can see the last three of the serial number, and seeing it has canted engines and a diagonal stripe on it fin, it can only be 43-34314 U2-V 598th.BS. -Trevor Allen

[large image]

Also found on an online auction site is an article from Popular science about Glenn L. Martin, dated September 1941, called "From Barnstorming to Bombers. A Pioneer Plane Builder Sees His Prophecies Come True" by Roger Burlingame

Date:
6/10/2012
Time:
2:00 PM
 
I write this to you on behalf of my father who passed away on 9/11/2005. My father never said much about the war as if it was taboo. His name was T/Sgt. Quincy Thomas Miller and he was a communication man and waist gunner. He had to bailout two times while over Europe. I have his diary, his Distinguish Flying Cross and Purple Heart as well as about 14 other medals. He was hit by shrapnel in the back while on a mission. If there is anyone who remembers him still around I would to hear from them. God Bless you for your serving. -Tony Miller

Date:
6/5/2012
Time:
11:59 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Gustave Philip Larson, Jr.
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron: 496
Years in service:
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: In response to Carl Heline's nephew , Mathew Botkin, my father Gustave Philip Larson / 2nd lt. listed #4 "Lafayette, We Are Here II ! of the planes that were lost on Feb 14, 1945 mission 289 was shot down 3 times, this was the last time as he was taken prisoner and was liberated on April 29 that same year. We have a lot of great pictures, but this great man is no longer with us. Would be so grateful if anyone has any information on my father, he was award a silver star among several other medals, bronze, purple heart etc. Thank you, respectively submitted Phil R. Larson

Date:
5/30/2012
Time:
8:02 PM
 
 My Dad, William B. Lloyd, was a Navigator during the War in the Pacific. I think the following is accurate:
· He was in the 22nd Bomb Group, 5th Air Force
· He flew on the B-26 Marauder
· He was originally based out of Barksdale Field, LA
· I believe he was in Australia and also in New Guinea at some point.

I have pictures of him and his crew and also 2 of the planes with numbers on them. If anyone has any knowledge of my father, or can direct me further, I would appreciate knowing more.

1) Plane #1: Tail number 131864, Nose number 1788
2) Plane #2: Nose number 1767



No other identifying marks on the planes from what I can tell. My Dad was stationed at Barksdale Field and then was in New Guinea and Australia at some point. He was the navigator because his vision was not 20/20 so he could not be a pilot.

If you can help me with the numbers it would be great. I have tried to look him up by name and have been unsuccessful.

Thanks,
Jonathan Lloyd

Date:
5/30/2012
Time:
11:15 AM
 
Hi, I found a photo that Alf Egil Johannessen of Sandefjord, Norway posted in the 2006 Guestbook of "Miss Behavin" and he was inquiring as to who the crew members are. The pilot on the far left in the photo was my father retired Col. Thomas F. Tucker who passed away Oct. 12, 2000. I will try and find out from my mother who the other crew members are.

Best regards,
Stuart Tucker

Date:
5/28/2012
Time:
7:12 PM
 
Name: Esther M. (Oyster) Queneau, Honorary Charter Member
Bomb Group: 319th Bomb Group
Duties: Co-Organizer of First Reunion in 1975 – Researcher - Group Historian, 1975-1999

The purpose of this message is to post notice that a reprint of the book "The 319th in Action" is underway. I will advise later when it is available.

Date:
5/28/2012
Time:
5:43 PM
 
I am the grand-nephew of Lt. Nolen Butler Sowell, whom you reference so respectfully on the "Mountain Marauder" page of your site. He is memorialized in his brother's eldest son Nolen Joseph Sowell (my father), and my son Nolen Alexander Sowell.

I've recently come into possession of a treasure-trove of family records, including the attached photos and clippings. While the plaque in Wales was a bit of family lore, it was through your website that we learned most of the details about it, as well as much more info on that ill fated day. We are deeply grateful, and my brother and I hope to travel and see the monument sometime in the next few years.

Sincerely,
Morgan Sowell

Date:
5/28/2012
Time:
5:44 AM
 
My uncle, Sergeant Troy Lisenby, was a gunner aboard a B-26 when it crashed on January 8, 1944 near Kellogg Field, Michigan. He was a member of the 394th bomb group. I recently found pictures of the crash on the Internet. You posted that you were looking for information about the 394th and the plane named "Spook". I'm not sure if Uncle Troy flew in that Marauder or not. What other information do you need? I also do have some pictures of him and his friends.

Thanks for all that you have done to remember these brave men,
Carolyn Pierce

Date:
5/27/2012
Time:
6:26 PM
 
320th Bombardment group, 441st Squadron

My father Joseph T. Heiney, was assigned to the 441st, 42nd wing. He was a staff sergeant and he was listed, according to his papers as an airplane mechanic. He had told us he was a side gunner on a B26. We have a picture of him standing in front of a B26 with the name Lady Eve. I ha w since learned that there were three bombers with the name Lady Eve.
I realized from reading the article that my father's war service assignments were the same as those listed. Some of the facts I know are: my father had won a bronze star for pulling a Colonel Forsythe from burning plane. My father was hurt sometime after November 1944, I think in Dijon France when the jeep he and the crew were knocked off a cliff by a plane that was taking off over shot the runway. My father was the most severely hurt sometime as one of his legs below the knee was shattered. He always walked with a noticeable limp and the nerve damage was tremendous. If anyone ever knocked into his leg he would be in a lot of pain. Besides being assigned to the 441st he was with the 42nd wing. I know this unit received the Croix de Guerre with Palms. My father died in June 1977. Since that time I have been trying to piece his history during the war together. When I checked many of the pictures with the flight crews, my father's face or name was not there. My frustration in trying to piece his story together has truly been a labor of love. He did tell me several other anecdotes but nothing that would shed light on his history. I assume my next step is to write to Washington D.C. My sister tells me that a fire years ago destroyed many records.

On this Memorial Day, thank you veterans.

Morris

Date:
5/27/2012
Time:
9:23 AM
 
Hello,
A friend of mine, Jochen Weber, is searching for metal parts of the B26 42-95933 since some months. He asked me to work with him, because I'm a metal-detectorist (for the Archeological German Government) to find more parts. We did this last week and now we want to share the information with you...and hope to get information about the seven airmen.

Jochen and I are not related but we share an interested in historical things. Months ago I had contact to the British 97th Squadron because there was a destroyed Bomber near Münchholzhausen. I sent the ladies and gentlemen there pictures from the crash site and some parts of the machine which we kept in our little museum.

Regards,
Dirk Weber
 
Dirk,
The following may help your search.
2 March 1945 42-95933 coded IH-N named "Hillman Hellcat" of the 1st Pathfinder Squadron was attacked by two Fw190D's,the first attack destroyed the right engine which caught fire. The B-26 lurched out of formation and the radio gunner bailed out after the attack. The plane dropped approximately 350 feet and turned westwards to reach the bomb line. The fire in the engine increased in ferocity and the bail out bell was rung, and the remaining crew bailed out while the aircraft crashed and burned. The crew were Capt Paul H Jones;2.Lt Robert L Richmond;1.Lt John M Le Boeuf;2.LtWendel L Hoenshel; S/Sgt William D DeCew; T/Sgt Henry M Isenberg; S/Sgt Robert H Folsom. All the crew were listed as missing in action.

Regards
Trevor Allen
Historian, b26.com

Date:
5/16/2012
Time:
9:29 PM
 
This is my grandfather, William E. Davis, front row far right. He flew on the B-26 "Invictus" during WWII. Grandpa flew in the 344th Bomb Group. He was on a B-26 named "Invictus". I learned the day after he passed away, he was awarded three Bronze Stars, one Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross... Any information if anyone knows about his plane or missions would be great! I have a photograph of him and his crew in front of his plane I can send.
 
[large]

Date:
5/15/2012
Time:
6:56 PM
 
By any chance has anyone in the "Pickled Dilly" photo been identified? I was interested in the man on the left thinking it might be Roy Robinson, I believe I sent pictures of Roy Robertson some time ago. Roy was the bombardier on the "Pickled Dilly" when it was shot down. Perhaps someone can help me identify the crewmen in the photo. I have the MACR, just wondered who was in the photo. Thanks, Frank
 
[large]

Date:
5/9/2012
Time:
11:06 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: 1st Lt. Warren C "Skeet" Lowe
Bomb Group: 335 Bomb Group (M)
Bomb Squadron: 477th Bomb Squadron
Years in service: 30 Oct 42 - ??? 1945
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: I am looking for information on my Grandfather, 1st Lt. Warren C "Skeet" Lowe. He passed away when my mother was 6 years old (1953) while flying a civilian commercial airline. I have recently become in possession of various military records of my grandfather's and found out that he was a part of the Marauder Men. I would love to hopefully get some more info on his or his crew's military service, stories, or photographs.



At the time when he was shipped to the ETO his crew members were: Combat Crew No. 4; 2nd Lt. Frank S. Barrett (Pilot), 2nd Lt. Ernest A. Benck (Bomb-Nav), S/Sgt Thurlow R. Rewis (Radio-Gun), S/Sgt Gerald W. Galloway (Engr-Gun), & Sgt Thaddeus (NMI) Romanowski (Aerial Gun). At this time my grandfather was 2nd Lt. Warren C Lowe (Co-Pilot). This info was listed on orders from Barksdale Field, Shreveport, LA dated 14 March 1943.

Listed on another paper dated 17 Sept 1943 was a list of "Combat Missions completed over enemy occupied territory."

28 July, 31 July, 18 Aug, 25 Aug, 2 - 6 Sep, 8 & 9 Sep, 11 Sep, & 16 Sep of 1943. This fulfilled his requirements for promotion to 1st Lt.

Anything would be helpful in knowing more info of my Grandfather. I have attached 2 photos of him for your archives.

Thank you,
Debra Bishop

Date:
5/7/2012
Time:
3:10 PM
 
Name: Charles A. Muse
Bomb Group: 17th
Squadron: 432nd
Years is Service: 43-45
On February 20, 2012 Lt. Col Charles A Muse, Sr. passed away quietly at home, age 92. He was laid to rest on the 22nd, 67 years to the day from when his B-26 was shot down on the return leg of a bombing mission over Germany. S/Sgt Clarence Loop is the last remaining member of the air crew. He was interviewed for the History Channel's special on the B-26 and nonchalantly described approaching a target with the flak all around. He then went on to describe in vivid detail what it was like when his craft was shot down. When ever he spoke about being shot down, he always made it sound so routine, then my mother would remind him of the recurring nightmare he had until the late 60s. He always down-played the danger, saying something like "it was my job." We have a photo of him and the whole crew and there is not one person in the photo over 25. They were the "Finest Generation" and I am proud to be his son. -Larry Muse

Date:
5/7/2012
Time:
10:16 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: 1st LT. Stanley J. Hagen (Navigator)
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 440th
Years in service:?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Stanley was my second cousin. Was shot down 9/26/1944 near Firenzuola, Italy KIA in B-26B 42-95785 any info or pictures would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Date:
5/4/2012
Time:
12:40 PM
 
Regarding the history of the B-26 and the questions concerning Truman's, and the Truman committee's involvement in the B-26, I came across this document in my research. The document is entitled "CASE HISTORY of B-26 AIRPLANE PROJECT" and appears to have been produced by the U.S. Army Air Forces. It's a fascinating document which looks genuine to me.

It's only six pages long, but it confirms much of what has been written in many of the B-26 histories that I've read. Considering the fact it was produced by the Air Force and also that it covers many important points in the history of the B-26, I would consider it a very useful and valuable document. Unfortunately, a PDF file isn't easily searchable and its text can't be read by the search-engines out on the web. As I only stumbled upon it by chance, I thought that it worth the effort to get it transcribed into text so that its information can be more easily found and used. I tried putting the PDF through an OCR, but that didn't work too well. So, I printed it out and typed it all in by hand. I used a text-to-speech program to proof read it (about six times before all the mistakes were found and corrected). The final text file containing the transcription is attached. I hope you agree that it's a valuable historical document and perhaps will create a page somewhere on B26.COM for the text.

Putting the PDF version of the document on B26.COM probably isn't the right thing to do, considering it was obtained from another source, but I can't see a problem with posting a transcription of the document as this document is probably available to anyone from the Air Force archives.

The third from last paragraph states that a recommendation was made on June 29, 1943, to reduce production of the B-26. From the earlier paragraphs, it would seem that this decision was made by the Air Force. The Truman Committee announced (in document "Serial Set Vol. No. 10758, Session Vol. No.4, 78th Congress, 1st Session, S.Rpt. 10 pt., 10" that you previously sent to me) that "the Army plans to taper off its (B-26) production". So, both documents state that this decision was made by the Army Air Force and not the Truman Committee. But as the committee were the ones who made the announcement, many people either misunderstood or inferred that it was Truman who made the decision.

It's still an interesting question as to how much Truman got involved with the B-26. The objective of the Truman committee was to investigate problems associated with the production of materials for war. As you know, there were many things under the scrutiny of the committee, and if he took an interest in the B-26 it may well have been in the cost of B-26 production, and how to produce as many aircraft as quickly and as cheaply as possible rather than its safety record.

Perhaps the stories and anecdotes about Truman seeing crashed and burning B-26s, and of Truman's encounters with Glenn Martin are true. If Truman (or indeed anyone else) thought that people were being killed and injured in B-26 accidents, or that Martin should put more effort into fixing problems with the aircraft, then I would have thought he would have tried to use his influence to improve matters.

There is the reference in the document "Serial Set Vol. No. 10758, Session Vol. No.4, 78th Congress, 1st Session, S.Rpt. 10 pt., 10" section "AIRCRAFT ACCIDENTS" that states "In addition to the foregoing the committee has been engaged in a study of military plane crashes and at a subsequent date will report on this subject. The committee is concerned about the large number of such casualties, particularly in non-combat operational flights in this country." Do documents for this study exist and, if so, where are they ?

The case history states that there were some problems with outsourcing production of B-26 components, especially at the Omaha plant. Maybe Truman and the Air Force thought that Martin wasn't being as co-operative as other airplane manufacturers with regard to outsourcing. But there are many, many problems with outsourcing (which I've read about in the book about aircraft production by I.B. Holley) and most are difficult to resolve, especially for a highly-engineered aircraft like the B-26.

Anyway, I hope that you'll find the time to read the document yourself - it's worth the time. As always, any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions are always welcome.

Cheers,
Steve Sharp

Hi Steve,
Yes an early decision was made to phase out the B-26 and the A-20, however in the case of the B-26 a further production batch was ordered. The Marauder fulfilled the role of a tactical support bomber superbly and beyond all previous opinions of Gen. Hap Arnold and the other brass. It's loss rate was so low per mission flown that by the end of 1944 there were so many B-26's available as replacements, that the surplus was supplied to the RAF and the French.
They in fact had no need of them either at this stage of the war, for they too were having very few losses and many of the B-26's supplied never went any further than the respective depots. So with the nearness of the end of the war in Europe meant less replacements.

Trevor Allen, Historian b26.com

Date:
5/1/2012
Time:
8:34 PM
 
Historical research group seeks photos and contact with the members of the 397th BG and 599th squadron and relatives of the flight crew of B 26 43-34430 "Hunconscious" lost in action 12-23-44 for the purposes of a completed archaeological investigation of the aircraft's crash site.

Thanks, I appreciate it. Mark Noah
 
Related to USAAF serial number S/N: 43-34430 Martin B-26G-10-MA Marauder 1943034430, 43-34430 Martin B-26G-10-MA Marauder Fate: MIA Unit: 397BG 599BS Remarks: 397BG 599BS Code:6B-? MIA Dec 23, 1944. MACR-11985, Disposal: 23-Dec-44
 
See Frank Güth's November 23, 2006 entry here

Date:
4/26/2012
Time:
12:06 PM
 
How would I find information about my fathers service in ww2? I googled him and came up with his name in the 320th, 444squadron. He passed away in 1985 @ the V.A. hospital in Houston Tx. after having surgery for an aneurism from a war injury to the belly at the young age of 62. I know he was shot down twice and mom had always said there was a commic book during the war about one of his downing called something like (on a wing and a prayer) or something like that about him holding the landing gear down manually with every one all shot up. I have no info because he would never talk about his time in the war. We could never have fireworks when we were kids. I know he was awarded two purple hearts and he use to have a bag that was full of different metals. He told me one story when I was small about being dropped at the site of a down plane to recover sensitive equipment from it and there were goats that were climbing on it and eating everything that wasn't metal . He was from Kirbyville Texas. His name was Arvel Lee Clark. I am Arvel Lee Clark Jr. Any info would be greatly app. Sincerely A.L. Clark Jr.

Date:
4/23/2012
Time:
7:01 PM
 
I have gone through a scrapbook of information saved by my father-in-law, Lt Bill Rose. He was a bombardier assigned to the 573rd Bomb Squadron in the 391st Bomb Group, and he was based north of London in Matching Green/White Roding----two villages in the same area---so I assume it is the same airfield. I have a number of photographs, including two dramatic shots he took from the nose of the B26 over the English Channel on June 6th, 1944 as the DDay invasion was underway. They had an early takeoff, and flew two missions that day. He comments that the ships were so close together that it looked like you could walk from one to another all the way to the beach. And he describes intense concern for the troops on the sea and beach who were in such peril from the enemy gunfire. Another photo shows them approaching Paris, with all the famous landmarks in full view, as they were enroute to their target. The aircraft he flew included "Margie" and the "Texas Special".

He mentions the following other crewmen----my apologies if there is any misspelling or other inaccuracy----some of the notes are hard to decipher after 68 years:

Charlie "Pappy" Kreiling, who was killed in 1943 in Kentucky
Bill "Snake" Parke, who was killed in Europe in 1944
Joe Boylan, a pilot who was shot down over Germany, but survived in a POW camp and returned to the US after the war, where he was reunited with his custom made boots he got in London.
Bob "Deacon" Clark
Bob Logan
Ernie Ljungdren
Hank Sloss
Lamar Jellars
Bob Lajaue, a pilot who landed B26 tail number 21077, but when he landed the tail was shot up (amazing photo!), for which he received the DFC
Paul J. Reidlinger, Pilot
Kenneth C. Fuller, Copilot
Rex E. Dickey, Engineer
John Perry, Radio/Gunner
John J. Hardy, Gunner

If any of the readers would like to see the source of this information, or any of the photos, send a note back and we can try to connect. -Thanks, Mac McConnell

Date:
4/12/2012
Time:
4:46 PM
 
Just discovered some pics on line of my uncle Lt Robert B Reney, co pilot B26, 323 bomb group, pilot Myron Denny, plane name "Miss Safartus Rickenschicken 2nd", Lost in the English Channel April 11, 1944

Looking for any stories and /or pics.

RG Bates

Date:
4/3/2012
Time:
8:12 PM
 
Greetings,
Doing research on pilots who trained here at Laughlin and flew B-26s during D-day, 6 Jun 44. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Jack

JACK G. WAID
47 FTW/HO (Historian)
Laughlin AFB

Date:
3/29/2012
Time:
6:51 PM
 
Lavern Helpingstine was my grand-uncle. I have scanned pictures, newspaper articles, and letters that I would be more than happy to send you. In addition, his sister (my grandmother) is still hale and hearty and could possibly answer any questions you might have.

Please contact me. I tried to get in touch with Ron Miller a couple years ago and never had any luck. I fear he may have passed before I found his messages online.
 
M Arleigh

Date:
3/23/2012
Time:
5:21 PM
 
I am a grand nephew of Capt Mont Stephensen, who was the pilot of the Draggin Lady the day she crashed. His Sister, Colleen Stephensen-Christensen is my grandmother. I was named after his father, Stephen Stephensen. Thanks for posting this history and memorial. I appreciate knowing more of him and his crew members.

I welcome any communication from anyone who knew ‘Uncle Mont’. (He and three other brothers gave all for their country, one in Korea, and one in Vietnam, who’s name is Mark Stephensen. I don’t know much else, but would love to hear from anyone!

Stephen Chamberlain

Date:
3/18/2012
Time:
3:01 PM
 
Dear Mr. Allan, please grant me the opportunity to get in touch with you directly. I understand from Mr. Robert Mynn and Mr. Raymond Harwood that you are today one of the last and best sources on the 9th AF available.

I have been into the research business for 14 years now. It started in March 1998, more out of a favor towards a Californian family. I did not know anything about the air war issue, let alone war planes. Coincidently, like the very first case, the following cases also happen to be 2nd AD related. Hence the Liberator is likely more familiar to me, than the Marauders.

If I had to describe myself, I am less knowledgeable of technical issues on aircrafts and air war, rather trying to be an investigator for Allied missing air crew personnel. You know, I am more the one who spends nights over an IDPF or making phone calls to the US. A while ago I was contacted by my friends of the Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten, to look into one specific case involving a Marauder crew named on the Wall of The Missing.

I sadly learned how few info seems available about the Ninth AF and even less, when looking for specific bomber groups and personnel.

I would be so pleased to learn more about below unit and crew. Could it be, that by coincident in the past, a family member related to that specific crew may have contacted you to learn more about their loved ones ? It is also my hope one day to obtain photos showing their faces. These are the data I have so far:

322nd Bomber Group / 450th bomb squadron:
B-26 Marauder air crew
A/C-serial: 42-96225

P 1st LT Dow, William E.
CP 2nd LT Booth, Dwight K.
B T/SGT Sievers, Robert L.
RO S/SGT Kittredge, David R.
E S/SGT Howard, Robert E.
(TG S/SGT Pitzen, Lloyd R. ) he bailed out and returned to duty

Above air crew were stationed at AAF Sta A-89, Ninth AF
Their airbase was apparently in Belgium - Airfield A-89 is believed Le Culot Airfield near Beauvechain (Belgium).

Thank you for your time. In hope for your response which is more than appreciated.

With best regards,
E. Schwartz
 
E. Schwartz,
This crew were in B-26 42-96225 coded ER-X of the 450th Bomb Squadron 322nd Bomb Group. The target on the 16th April 1945 Wittenburg, and the aircraft took a direct flak hit last being seen on fire and diving rapidly. One parachute was seen to open this being S/Sgt Lloyd R Pitzen who became a prisoner of war. The B-26 crashed into a built up area and exploded on impact.

Please feel free to ask any further questions.
Regards Trevor Allen, historian, B26.com

Date:
3/17/2012
Time:
3:07 PM
 
I have a radio show episode from April 1945

First segment:

Wire recording from the air over Germany, on the way to bomb a railyard Marshalling Yard: from Douglas A-26 bomber "Gambler's Luck" in Corbin's Crusaders of the 386th Bomb Group.

Correspondent: Lt. Tom Gahagen (?). Captain Earl J. Slanker from Dayton, Captain Nick Bouras, Lead Bombardier, Chicago; Lt. Bob Copeland, Navigator, Seattle on bombing run.

Second segment:

1st Lt. Mark H. Gilman, Co-Pilot "Jack The Ripper", speaks about the AT9 aircraft

1st Lt. William C. Leasure, navigator "Jack The Ripper", speaks about the AT7 aircraft. Then there is a segment about the "Jack The Ripper" bomber crew's Air Medal. Segment includes Gilman, Leasure and T/Sgt. Karl L. Masters, Top Turret Gunner; Captain William J. Crumm; S/Sgt. Rufus W. Youngblood, Right Waist Gunner.

Song: "Bombardier Song"

Third segment:

RAF man talks about "Bostonize" strafing tactics with A-20 aircraft.

Forth segment:

Correspondent: Major Ben Chapman from an 8th AAF Air Sea Rescue Base in England. Wire recording of bomber's mayday/ditch and the air sea rescue mission.

Thanks, Jilly Dybka

Date:
3/15/2012
Time:
3:44 PM
 
I have been trying to gather information on my uncle Joseph Schoeps he was in the Army Air Force and was killed in service on Jan 1st. My mother used to tell me about him, I was named after him.

I searched this site and saw a picture of his and his brother Lawrence’s grave stones at Arlington.

Can anyone provide me with any information, I know time is taking its toll on all these great men.

Thank you,
Joseph Van Zandt

Date:
3/12/2012
Time:
11:55 PM
 
Hi!

I saw the photo of the B-26 flown by CAPT Wakeman and noticed de "kill marks" on the side of the cockpit.

Is anyone able to elaborate on the meaning of the ducks as well as the bombs painted at a 45 degree angle? Also some of the bombs seem to be painted in a different colour (but consistently, do old, worn out markings wouldn't seem a feasible explanation...), any reason for that?

Any insights would be appreciated..!

Many thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Will

Date:
3/12/2012
Time:
6:49 PM
 
Hi, I'm hoping to get some definitive information about a particular mission in which elements of the 387th (mainly the 557th) had to put in at Debden (Station F-356) due to weather.

We do not have a date for the mission (yet), at least we have not found it yet in our records. There is an entry I found on a website which could possibly be it, tagged as "probably March" which reads as follows:

"Returning from one mission, we let down through the overcast and with me being the seeing eye dog in the nose we dropped very cautiously to an altitude of about 800 feet before I spotted a breakthrough. We had let down so gradually we had flown off the north edge of the map, so we did a 180 degree turn and headed south until we saw the barrage balloons at Chelmsford which should have been down. We turned in and landed at our home base, the only aircraft to do so - all others had been diverted north to other bases. – Bill Butler (556th B.S.), Reflections of a Replacement Navigator."

We believe this took place prior to April 1944.

The amusing episode garnered mention in Grover Hall's history of the group, 1000 Destroyed, and I plan on doing an article on it in our May issue of the Eagle Eye. Apparently Chipping Ongar was fogged in, so a squadron - maybe more than one but we know the 557th was there for sure - put in at Debden. Debden is north of C.O. which fits the narrative above) What happened is this: The 557th crews could not believe what life was like at Debden (it had been a permanent RAF base prior to the war) and enjoyed their stay - which from what I can gather lasted at least 6 days. Crews actually had GI's from C.O drive down with fresh uniforms and tooth brushes! Some of these men stayed as well, ostensibly as "mechanics" sent to fix mechanical issues that were cropping up, coincidentally as the weather was clearing. They apparently really enjoyed the food and amenities offered at Debden!

Thought he weather had cleared around Debden, it was still duff at C.O. so the 557th guys went up on "affiliation" flights with the 4th guys. Word got around and soon groups with 47's and 38's were showing up to take part as well. Hall wrote that reporters sent to the base to do articles about the 4FG guys instead began writing about the 'stranded' Marauder boys. It was not your normal stay for transient aircraft seeking refuge from bad weather!

If we find specific information as to date and time we will of course forward any and all of it to the site. I'm interested in learning if there's anything recorded from the 387th side of this story.

We may have actually have some pictures of the event; our historian is going through our archives now. It was a passing mention of B-26 photos that started me delving into this a bit more deeply. Will let you know should anything turn up. If you're familiar with the book 1000 Destroyed, the story appears on pages 58-59. Only a couple of paragraphs, but amusing nonetheless. Debden had its own chicken farm and the head of the mess had planned a big fried chicken dinner, but the mess secretary was waiting until the "bomber boys who came to dinner" had left the base. The outcome? Wrote Hall: "...the bomber boys were able to say when they left 'Well anyway, we stayed until you killed your damn chickens.'"

Will advise as to the outcome of our search. Does the 387th BGA have a newsletter?

Thank you for your time,
Regards,

Tim McCann
Association of the 4th Fighter Group
Editor, The Eagle Eye

Date:
3/11/2012
Time:
8:56 PM
 
Earl Dingman is my grandfather. He was assigned to the 643 bombardment squadron, 409 bombardment group. I just read this post (below), and saw his pictures. I can't tell you how excited my mother and I were to see them. I would love to hear from anyone who knew him or any information about him during this time. Thank you and Jay please contact me.

Earl McGillen

Date:
3/10/2012
Time:
2:32 PM
 
I show that Roy Calvin Robertson was on the Pickled Dilly when the aircraft was shot down on July 8, 1944, Not so according the George Raymond Moon's webpage. Can you help me on this. I believe I send you Robertson photo some time ago.
 
There is a conflict with the information I have. Can someone help?

Information regarding 2nd Lt. Roy C. Robertson of the 322nd Bomb Group. According to the records his plane, “Pickled Dilly,” serial no. 118276, Code SS-C, (MACR 6628), 451st Bomb Squadron was reported missing in action after a night raid, July 8, 1944 on the Noball Headquarters at Chateau de Ribeacourt. The attack involved 32 bombers, of which 9 were shot down. The planes were attacked by 40-50 single and twin-engined German fighters as well as precisely coordinated flak. The crew of his plane was:

1st Lt. Carson R. Gallien, Shreveport, La.(pilot); 1st Lt. Robert K. Schoonmaker, Toronto, Can.(co-pilot); 2nd Lt. Roy C. Robertson (navigator), Waco, Tex.; S/Sgt. Harry C. Marson (bombardier). Mahan, W.Va.; S/Sgt. Glendon E. Jenkins, Galveston, Tex.; T/Sgt. Clair L. Wiseman, Kenosha, Wisc.; S/Sgt. Charles C. Snyder, Chicago, Ill.; 451st Sq.).

There is a photograph of “Pickled Dilly” on page 329 of the book: 322nd Bombardment Group (M): A Memoir Continued. Carrollton, Texas: IMPACT Advertising and Marketing, Inc., 1997.

There is a bit more narrative information from the records on the mission itself, including the names of the other eight crews that were lost. We could photocopy and send those pages (4-5 pages total). I hope this is helpful.
 
-Frank J Jasek, Jr.

Date:
3/7/2012
Time:
3:28 PM
 
Yes, My Uncle Steve Rick was assign to the 450th Bomb Sq, 322 Bomb Sq and I am trying to look for any info on him. He has since pass away and I have retrieve his records from St. Louis. His Discharge papers showed that he was discharge on 28 Sept 1945 from said Sq. He was (I believe a tail gunner on a B-26). I have look at the roster here and it shows a Robert Rick but no Steve Rick and the rank is correct S/SGT and a tail gunner, could it be the first names are in error?

Thank You
CWO (RET) Dennis Rick A/75th Rangers

Date:
3/6/2012
Time:
5:44 PM
 
Good day to you sir.

My name is George Carley and I am the President of the Kingston Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping. My request is of a personal nature.

I am in receipt of a transcript of a daily diary of the pilot of a B-26 aircraft that took off from BW-1, Greenland, bound for Goose Bay, Labrador but crash landed near Saglek Bay, Labrador on December 10, 1942.

The pilot only refers to the crew by first names other than a Lt. Josephson, a Lt. Jansen, and a Sgt Nolan. The other names mentioned are Golm, ,Waywrench, Mangins.

I was wondering if you could shed any light on who these people were, their home towns, and their families, or advise me where I might find this information.

Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Yours truly,
George H. Carley, Sgt Ret'd

Date:
3/6/2012
Time:
10:31 AM
 
I am seeking information about my uncle George Frederick Moser who was a B-26 pilot from 1943 through 1945. I believe he was assigned to the 453rd Bomb Squadron of the 323rd Bomb Group. After the war he joined the Ohio Air National Guard and was rated to fly F-84’s. For a time in the 1960’s he sold Beechcraft planes and it was in one of these that he took me for my first airplane ride in the skies above Ohio and Kentucky. His older brother William Curtis Moser piloted B-25’s with the 12th Bomb Group.

Patrick Stinson

Date:
3/5/2012
Time:
3:39 AM
 
Hello,
Sam, I cant give you much information on your grandfather, but Idiots delight was photographed by LIFE photographer Frank Scherschel in 1943. I attack a thumbnail from the Life archive.

Best wishes with your search.
Chris Going

Date:
3/4/2012
Time:
2:03 PM
 
Hello,
My name is Tim Selfridge and I am doing a little research for my father-in-law. His father was Henry Furmanski who one of the men in the picture with the Mitchell. By chance would you happen to have a larger/higher resolution picture that you could send me?

Unfortunately I don't have much to share as I am just starting to do the research. I just know he was in the 13th Air Corps and my father inlaw said he was in the VBG612 Airgroup which I could find nothing on at all.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Tim Selfridge

Date:
2/28/2012
Time:
5:35 PM
 
Dear Sir,
It has been a while since I last searched your wonderful site for information on my Dad - Frank M. Cookson - who flew the Old Vet in '43-44 (he also received the DFC for returning in another Marauder, the Homesick after being ravaged by a night fighter 7/7-8/2944 on a night mission over France). On reviewing the site today I came across an entry by a Julie Misa with a couple of photos she'd obtained in an antique shop — on labeled as "The flight crew of 'The Old Vet' Eng 1943" including Dad's name. Unfortunately the file is a low resolution picture. Could you please forward my email address to Ms. Misa requesting she contact me about obtaining a higher resolution copy of the picture.

Many thanks and again, thanks for keeping the memory alive,
Jim Cookson

Date:
2/25/2012
Time:
10:26 PM
 
My father, Herbert Maher (now deceased), was part of the ground crew of Marauder W for William of 30 Squadron 3 Wing of SAAF.

He was based at Pescara, Jesi and Udine - Italy.

James Maher (Captain SADF retired).

Date:
2/25/2012
Time:
9:33 AM
 
Hi,
I am a nurse in England who visits patients in their own homes. One of my patients is a lady of 86 who has told me of her work in an aircraft factory during WW2. She has spoken of a her first true love, an American soldier/airman who went on a mission one night and never came back. Before he went he gave a her a Handkerchief with a printed plane on and the words 554 bomber squadron. She has kept this memento all these years and showed it to me on my last visit. She was telling me about "Tony" from Florida and how deeply she had loved him when there was a noise in the room. A file had somehow managed to end up on the floor, it couldn't slide off the bed as I had it propped against my paperwork file in the middle of a large bed. It managed to rise above the paperwork file, cross 3 feet of bed and then land on the floor, travelling at least 5 feet. There was no logical reason for the file to end up where it did.
We looked at each other puzzled and wondered if Tony had visited us from beyond!
Thought I'd share our little "moment" with you.
Thank you
Anne

Date:
2/24/2012
Time:
7:44 PM
 
Hi Heroes,

My name is Dru Cafferty, the son of Clay Cafferty. My dad passed away on Sept. 6th 1986. My mom Marjorie passed away nearly 3 years ago. I am an only child.

I went to a web site on a whim and looked under 323 bomb group, 456 bomb squadron and saw a site on David Knight. I remember mom telling me how he wished he knew where David was. I believe he is in 3 pictures.

My dad finally found where they were having reunions in 1985 and decided to pass on that one, wanting to go the next year.

I worked in printing and when mom and dad visited I enlarged a lot of pictures for him to take to the reunion in 1986. Sadly he passed away a few weeks before his first reunion. I have an officers magazine where dad sent a note looking for David Knight. My mom said he was the pilot on several missions. Dad flew 63 missions.

It was very difficult to deal with his death, so close to joining his old friends. Dad got sick in 1977 with a heart attack/surgery and got Parkinson's disease and was sick for 9 years.

Mom went on to the reunion in 1986 and was joined by his sister.

I went to my first reunion with mom in 1987 I believe, at Niagara Falls. It was overwhelming to see the pictures and here the stories. Alan Hammel gave me a photo like the one in the article of David Knight of the B 26 (1890). I saw it listed Aaron Hammel, but it seemed like he went by Alan when I met him.

I also went to a reunion in Las Vegas, Seattle, and Nashville.

I met so many nice folks dad flew with, and would love to hear back.

Hope to hear back. Thanks, Dru Cafferty

Date:
2/24/2012
Time:
6:17 AM
 
Dear Sir,
I am contacting you to see if you may be able to help me. I am in contact with a member of the Andrewsfield flying club in the UK with regard to having a celebration in possibly July 2012 for the 70th anniversary of the breaking of ground for the construction of Andrews Field, Gt. Saling, Essex, UK. This was the base for the 322nd BG, 9thAF. I am looking for items to display (photos, pilots log books, in fact anything to do with the 322nd while they were based there.
Kevin Leek.

Date:
2/19/2012
Time:
4:57 AM
 
On 12/31/2011 Ed Stegeman posted a story about the career of Lt Dale Bartels in the 1st Pathfinder Squadron. The account also told about a belly landing at/near Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on 16 February 1945 due to flak damage to his B-26

Ed asked for the identity of this particular B-26. This appears to be a B-26 with "916" as last three digits (41-31916?). AFHSO sent me the following text:

Bartels - - Roll A0859 states - "Ship 916 NL hit by flak over enemy
territory and is MIA. Pilot - LT Bartels, Nav - LT Dale, Bomb - LT Hoenschel.
However, it shows them to be with 416th BG. A loading list page for 16 Feb 45
shows Ship 916-M with 416th BG - 1/Lt D.R. Bartels - F/O W. Sikora - 1/Lt W.H.
Carls - 1/Lt W.L. Hoenshel - S/Sgt W. J. LaBahn - Sgt L.A. Mayer - S/Sgt T.R.
Morris

The peculiar thing is that 416th BG flew A-20/26 types. On the other hand, there was B-26 41-31916 with code JR-M.

Suggestions welcome.

Regards,

Leendert Holleman
Brugge, Belgium

Date:
2/18/2012
Time:
4:05 AM
 
Greetings, My name is Kevin Shoemaker. I am interested in any information or photos of Tech Sgt. Raymond J Shoemaker. Ray is my first cousin, my dad's cousin. My dad is Irwin Shoemaker, son of Harvey A Shoemaker. Harvey was a brother to Raymond's father, William P Shoemaker. I feel kind of bad here. I saw & read the memorial and I feel ashamed that my family did not contribute to it. My family never talked about this tragedy. I found out about this site just recently. I have been compiling our family history. Raymond has been lost, but not forgotten. God Bless to all the men & woman who have died to protect our freedom & others. Thank you for your consideration in advance & I wish all the families out there, God Bless You!!

Kevin Shoemaker

Date:
2/17/2012
Time:
10:12 AM
 
I am having pictures made of Joseph Mathias Bruck and mailing them to you. I would like a dedication page to my Uncle Joe. He served with the 552nd Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group based in Great Dunmow, Essex County, England

On Sept.9th 1943 B-26 41-34958 RG-F "Named Hazard" received a direct flak hit in the bomb bay just prior to bomb release. The crew was 1. Lt Stephen M Danforth
2. Lt. Joseph W Bruck
2.Lt. William J Coffey, Jr.
Sgt. Louis P McNeill
T/Sgt. Jack E Whitehead and
S/Sgt. Joseph E Sanchez.

Please let me know if you need any other information.

The group pictures will have names on the back unless you instruct me otherwise.

Thank you.

Blessings,
Diane

Date:
2/15/2012
Time:
9:56 AM
 
To Chester Klier "The Flyer":

Just read the report by William Bode concerning the 386th Bomb Group Mission #356 on March 9, 1945. Very interesting report for me. I am Mike McCleskey son of Staff Sergeant David McCleskey (KIA) mentioned in the article by Bode. Have not been to the 386th web site in awhile!

My wife and I attended the 386th Reunion in Pittsburg, PA. I believe it was in 1999?(not sure of that). I think the group may have had one more reunion after that?

Chester, I hope this E-mail finds you still doing well. Thoroughly enjoyed visiting with you and all the other people in attendance in Pittsburg. If you get a chance, it would be good to hear from you again.

Thanks you for all your do for the 386th!

Regards,
Mike McCleskey

Date:
2/14/2012
Time:
9:56 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Junies Carlton Kervin
Bomb Group:391st
Bomb Squadron:575th
Years in service:43-45
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location: Barksdale
Comments: my grandfather was in 575th, Junies Kervin, no one in my family really talks anymore and I was looking for info on his group. this is all i have found on him. if anyone has anymore info thank you. I also have info that said he was 394th 584th and most of the pictures I have is of 584th b-26 any help would be great.

44 9 P HORSTMAN, CHARLES J., 2LT, XXXX954
CP O'CONNELL, JOHN H., 2LT, XXXX295
B SMITH, PHILLIP, 2LT, XXXX158
N
FE DERVIN, JUNIES C., CPL, XXXXX996
RG RODGERS, JAMES M., CPL, XXXXX492
AG PINGLE, RAY E., CPL, XXXXX929
SOURCE: SO-128, Hqs 391st Bomb Group 9/27/1944 Par. 2
SO-220, Hqs Barkdale Field, 8/7/44, gives the flight engineer's name as Kervin, which I suspect is correct.

Name: Junies Carlton Kervin
S.S. #: XXXXX9079
Staff Sergeant
584th Bombardment Squadron
Army of the United States
Army Serial No. 38 420 996

Decorations:
EAME (Europe-African-Middle Eastern) Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
Good Conduct Medal
Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters
GO 43 Hq 9th BD 19 (Dec 1944)
Distinguished Unit Badge with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters
60 11 Hq 9th AF (Jan 1945)
2 Overseas Service Bars
 
Thank you, Brad Kervin

Date:
2/12/2012
Time:
9:13 PM
 
-Hello,

My grand parents escaped from France before the Nazi occupation. My grandmother left me a Banque de France 100 Cent Francs note dated 1938 that has this hand written on it:

Lt. Charles J. Polos
387th Bomb Group
Chipping Ongar, England
July 1944
12 Missions over France - B-26

If anyone has any information on Lt. Charles J. Polos, or the squadron of the 387th that he flew in, I would be most grateful for the information.

Thank you and god bless,
-Gary M. Gere

Date:
2/12/2012
Time:
10:28 AM
 
Hello,

I recently met with the sister of William A. Meyer of the 554th BS. He was KIA 31 March 1945 when he jump from an A-26. He has over 30 missions, 20 of which were in a B-26. I was able to get a copy of his flight diary (attached). The first pages lists his crew mates all of which survived the war. I all came across a picture of their B-26 named "Ginny". I can ID Meyer, front row, left, but I can not ID the other men. Their named are in the diary. I also have a nice picture of Meyer. I hope this helps you out.

Marauderman's Name: S/Sgt William A. Meyer
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 554
Years in service: 1943-1945
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: S/Sgt was KIA in March 31, 1945 in an A-26 of the above squadron. I believe that they pilot of the plane was Lt. Robert C. Kennedy. I would like to know who was also in the crew of the plane and the s/n of the plane. I cannot find an MACR for the plane. Also S/Sgt flew 20+ missions in a B-26 with the following crew:

Pilot: Robert T. Merserean
Co-Pilot: Eugene M. Heitzman
Bombadiar: Herman E. Myrold
Radioman: James A. Mall
Gunner: Ben F. Dailey

I was wondering if any of these men are still alive. I would like to communicate with them. I am most interested in knowing of Lt. Kennedy's flight on March 31, 1945. William A. Meyer was from my hometown of Hawthorne, NJ and his named is listed on the memorial wall in town. I am researching and writing a book about all of the men listed on the wall.

Thank you,
Paul Chepurko

Date:
2/10/2012
Time:
10:28 AM
 
I show that Roy Calvin Robertson was on the Pickled Dilly when the aircraft was shot down on July 8, 1944, Not so according the George Raymond Moon site.

Can you help me on this. I believe I send you Robertson photo some time ago.

Frank Jasek

Date:
2/9/2012
Time:
6:50 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: James D. Wilson
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 451st
Years in service: unknown
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location: unknown
Comments: I'm looking for any info at all on my Grandfather. He was on the "Idiots Delight", and that is really all I know. He died when I was pretty young, so I was not able to find out much more. any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Sam Skorheim

Date:
2/7/2012
Time:
7:07 PM
 
Hello,

Thank you for all you do with your wonderful website.

Marauderman's Name: Carl W. Heline, Pilot
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557th
Years in service: 1942-1945
Graduation Class: 44-D
Class Location: Pampa, Texas, 13 April 1944

The attached photo of his crew was taken 9 October 1944, not sure where; Lake Charles, maybe? Named on the back are: front row L-R: “Beats” (?) Tail Gunner, from Texas; Sgt. William B Harbour, Engineer; Sgt. Dominic Di Blasio, radio. Back row L-R: 2nd Lt. Peter Gregorchuk, Co-pilot; 2nd Lt. Carl W Heline, Pilot; 2nd Lt. Calvin A. Kelley, “Bombigator”. Any idea who “Beats” might be?

We as his family are gathering all of Carl’s records, letters and photos that we have, as well as all of the external research we can find, and are preparing a detailed history of him and his service. And we are wondering if anyone might have any photos of him from his training, or from his time in Europe with the 387th?

Carl Heline was killed on February 14, 1945, after being shot down in a B-26B-20, #41-31710, the “General Sherman,” MACR# 12341, above Neuwied, Germany, on Mission 289, the Engers railroad bridge. Apparently that was the 53nd mission for the plane. The crew that day was:

2nd Lt. Peter Gregorchuk (P) - POW
2nd Lt. Carl W Heline (CP) - killed
T/Sgt. Philip Philander Griffee (B/N) - POW
Sgt. Dominic Di Blasio (R/G) - POW
Sgt. William Braxton Harbour (E/G) - POW
Sgt. Howard L Nelson (TG) - POW

We don’t know why Carl’s best friend, Toggler Lt. Kelley, was not on the crew that day. Sgt. Griffee had never met the crew before this day. Apparently he had been transferred over from the 381st BG (Heavy), 533rd SQ, sometime in the previous months.

Does anyone have any photos of this plane? Was it originally assigned to the 558th? Was this the original plane assigned to Capt. Allen N. Sherman? When did it arrive in the UK? Who was in that original crew? Is this the same Capt. Sherman who, in the 387th history, is described as finding and marrying a fine British lass from the Chelmsford area? Also, is this the same Capt. Sherman who was later associated with “Keller’s Killer,” 41-31714? Why was he no longer with the “General Sherman?” I wonder why it had only flown 52 missions by Feb 1945?

We have not yet found Carl’s service records. Do you show how he traveled to the ETO? Was he and his crew assigned a particular plane, or by that time as replacement crews were they given a different plane per mission? Do you have info on when he arrived there? I don’t think it was in time to be at Chipping Ongar/ Willingale? We know he was at Clastres, but was it in time for Cheateaudun? He wrote of the bitter cold in their tents and the ration of only one half bucket of coal every two days. Also, we don’t have a mission list, so we don’t know his total number of missions or where/when. With all the bad weather that winter, it may not be too many. Wonder if he flew any Ardennes missions. Would a mission list for him be available?

Finally, as a challenge to all of you excellent B-26 historians, we have several questions about his final mission. Through online research and first-hand accounts we have determined the following, but please correct anything we may not have accurate.

Mission 289, Engers Railroad Bridge, north of Koblenz. Apparently this was a maximum effort mission of 54 planes, 18 more than the normal 36. I show planes from the 344th BG and the 387th BG; any others? Would it be possible to see a Formation diagram chart for that mission? Apparently at the briefing that day they were told that flak would be extremely heavy, but they were also told to take no evasive action? Could that be possible? If so, how often would that order be given? From log books and diaries of crewmen written about that mission, they all mention how harrowing and terribly unnerving it was because of the unusually concentrated and accurate flak that afternoon, how many planes were lost, and how grateful they were to make it back, especially that day. One account said “the flak looked like a black storm cloud without any openings.”

The MACR shows the General Sherman was flying in the number 5 position, of a number 3 flight, but I don’t know which of the three Boxes it was in. Since it seems to have been among the first planes shot down, would we assume it was in Box 1, Number 3 flight, Number 5 plane?

Another pilot that day reported they did not go on the bomb run in the regular formation, but instead went in a single file “trail formation,” where each group or flight of 6 planes lined up one behind the other, all behind the lead, each box 500 feet below the box ahead. Again, how often were large bomb runs made in that type of “trail formation?” It seems that would make for much easier targets for the flak. Maybe that formation was used rarely, for narrow, high value targets? Any ideas?

I don’t know how many planes were lost on an “average” mission, but my research shows 8 Marauders lost on Mission 289 over the target, all within approx 25 minutes. Here they are in chronological order, with times taken from the MACRs:

1.) 41-31710, 387th BG / 557th BS, MACR# 12341 “General Sherman” 4:15pm
2nd Lt. Peter Gregorchuk (P) - POW
2nd Lt. Carl W Heline (CP) - killed
T/Sgt. Philip Philander Griffee (B/N) - POW
Sgt. Dominic Di Blasio (R/G) - POW
Sgt. William Braxton Harbour (E/G) - POW
Sgt. Howard L Nelson (TG) - POW

2.) 44-67915, 387th BG / 558th BS, MACR# 12342 -plane not named? 4:15pm
1st Lt. Robert J Tobin (P) - POW
2nd Lt. Clayton J Smith (CP) - POW
S/Sgt. Vance R Van Deusen (B/N) - POW
S/Sgt. Harold A Mueller (E/G) - POW
S/Sgt. Robert C Becker (R/G) - POW
S/Sgt. Leo R Mossman (TG) - POW

3.) 42-96164, 387th BG / 558th BS, MACR# 12343 -plane not named? 4:17pm
2nd Lt. Eugene P Pucket II (P) - killed
1st Lt. Wayne R Smith (CP) - killed
S/Sgt. Andrew O Wallace (B/N) - killed
S/Sgt. Edward V Wesolowski (E/G) - killed
S/Sgt. William Lynn Peyton (R/G) - POW
S/Sgt. William H Uhlemeyer (TG) - POW

(There is a video clip on youtube of Sgt. Uhlemeyer recounting his experiences this day)

4.) 42-95900, 344th BG / 497th BS, MACR# 12385 “Lafayette, We Are Here! II” 4:30pm
1st Lt. Robert Clyde Meppen (P) - POW
2nd Lt. Glenn Richard Farthing (CP) - POW
2nd Lt. Gustave Phillip Larson, Jr (B/N) - POW
Sgt. James Chiari, Jr (E/G) - killed
T/Sgt. Samuel Louis Myers (R/G) - killed
Sgt. Elman Cheramie (TG) - killed

5.) 43-34332, 344th BG / 496th BS, MACR# 12386 -plane not named? 4:32pm
1st Lt. Kenneth Gordon Holm (P) - Killed
2nd Lt. William Marshall Holman (CP) - POW
2nd Lt. Phillip George Mulholland (B/N) - killed
Sgt. William Arthur Spear (R/G) - POW
Sgt. Bernard Melvin Rasalais (E/G) - killed
Sgt. Frank Alton McKenny (TG) - killed

6.) 42-95917, Y5-J, 344th BG / 495th BS, MACR# 12344 "Shopworn Angel" 4:32pm
Capt. Thomas Gough Brennan, Jr. (P) - POW
2nd Lt. Frederick William LaFountaine, Jr. (CP) - killed
2nd Lt. Harry William Zuest (B/N) – killed
Sgt. Koy Fred Pace (R/G) - POW
Sgt. Edward Joseph Monahan (E/G) - killed
Sgt. Willard Alexander Delavan - POW

7.) 43-34196, 344th BG / 496th BS, MACR# 12387 -plane not named? 4:38pm
1st Lt. John Paul Nelson (P) – killed
2nd Lt. Douglas Thore Bennett (CP) – killed
2nd Lt. Walter Phillipp Santel (B/N) – POW
Sgt. Warren Oscar Severson (E/G) – POW
S/Sgt. Donald Eugene Brecht (R/G) – killed
Sgt. Arthur John Sullivan (TG) – POW

(Lt. Santel’s account of this mission is found in the book “Bombardiers of WWII, Volume 2”)

8.) 42-95914, 344th BG / 497th BS, MACR# 12352 "Shirley Ann" 4:40pm
1st Lt. William Riley Jones (P) - killed
1st Lt. Richard Caroll Light (CP) - killed
1st Lt. Melvin Ray O'Brien (N) - killed
1st L. John Edward Knight (B) - killed
S/Sgt. Norman D Polk (R/G) - POW
T/Sgt. Uel M Myers (E/G) - killed
S/Sgt. Peter N Dudley (TG) – missing/ killed

(The wreckage of this plane was discovered during a construction project in May 2010, just across the Rhine from Neuwied, Germany, where a dog tag belonging to Sgt. Dudley was also found. http://www.rhein-zeitung.de/regionales/ ... 92110.html There is also a TV news report about it, in German, on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOnVPdwe0f4)

The eventual casualty totals this day over this target came to: 8 ships lost, 43 men downed, 24 killed,19 POW.

During my research I discovered that some of the accounts in the MACR for the General Sherman are incorrect, specifically the German reports about the plane. I found two pages about the General Sherman misfiled in another MACR for this mission, with incorrect crewmen listed. From information obtained through personal letters, interviews and inquiries through the Missing Aircrew Research and Investigation Offices after the war, conducted mostly by Lt. Kelley, we have learned much more about Carl’s fate than is shown in the MACR. We know he was killed on the ground, within 24 hours or so after the crash. For the family, he was MIA for 11 months. Perhaps those details will wait for a dedication page.


But one more point we have learned is this. The truly unsung hero of the downing of the General Sherman is undoubtedly the Pilot that day, Lt. Peter Gregorchuk. Immediately after dropping their bombs, a direct hit of flak took out their left engine and set it on fire. Through quick reaction and teamwork, the two pilots kept control of the plane long enough for first the Tail Gunner Nelson, then the Radio man Di Blasio, then the Engineer Harbour to all bail out the right waist window. Then the plane began to spin and Lt. Gregorchuk put it into a dive to try to extinguish the flames, which he did, and he regained control. During that spin and dive Lt. Heline was having difficulty freeing himself, and the Toggler Griffee was able to help free him. Then Lt. Heline, immediately followed by Sgt. Griffee, bailed out through the bomb bay doors after the plane was brought under control. The plane again began to spin, but Lt. Gregorchuk was able to regain control once more, and was able to make a safe emergency landing in a field very close to the North bank of the Rhine, about 2 km southeast of Neuwied, Germany.

Through the skillful piloting of Lt. Gregorchuk, all 5 crewmembers were able to safely exit the plane and parachute to the ground without serious injury, at a time when there was absolute chaos and destruction all around them; bombs exploding, extreme flak, small arms fire from the ground, pieces of planes falling, burning, and crashing. Lt. Gregorchuk was also not injured. The plane reignited and burned, but not beyond recognition.

I believe all of the crew were captured immediately. Some were placed in a stone building on the East bank of the Rhine near Koblenz. Five hours later Sgt. Harbour was brought in, with one broken ankle. 12 days later, they saw Lt. Gregorchuk and Sgt. Griffee safe, all of them in a Prisoner of War camp. All 5 crewmembers safely returned to the States after the war.

Lt. Gregorchuk apparently died in 1989.

Other Marauders lost that same day over Germany, probably on Mission 290 to the Xanten road junction, as far as I can tell were 42-96226, 43-22512, 41-31859, 43-34286, 42-107613 and 41-31811. That makes the total I have found of 14 Marauders lost on February 14, 1945 over Germany.

Thank you for your help and service through this website.

Matthew Botkin
Nephew of Carl Heline

Date:
2/4/2012
Time:
3:50 PM
 
I am still trying to find out information about my Uncle Farris A Kennon, Jr. I know he was in the 70th Bombardment Squadron, 38th Bomb Group and I have the history of his squadron that lists his name. However, on January 28, 2011, George A Jones posted a comment on the Guest Book about being in the 70th Bombardment Squadron and I was wondering if someone can contact him and see if he remembers Farris Kennon and maybe he knows what crew he flew with and in what aircraft. Farris was a tailgunner. I remember he told me that they had been hit and the pilot thought they were going down and he told everyone to jump and he would be the last one out. It took my Uncle so long to get out of the tailgunner position that by the time he did the pilot told him not to jump and stay with him. Everyone that jumped was shot on the way down. My Uncle and the pilot were all that lived that flight. I would love to know the plane number, name and crew.

Date:
2/3/2012
Time:
7:36 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Tech-Sgt. Donald E. Mabon Serial # XXXX1645 Flight engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: Unknown possibly 449,450,451, or 452. I believe the name of his plane was "Flak Happy"
Years in service: 19 Dec. 1941 until 21 Feb. 1945. Participated in 56 Sorties from 14 May 1943 through 8 June 1944.
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: 26 Dec 1941 Basic training Biloxi Mississippi at Kessler Field. Glenn L. Martin School near Baltimore MD completed 17 Jul 1942
Comments: Donald Mabon (1922-2007) was my Great-Uncle. Inquiring about any information anyone may have about his plane/missions/service time. I have some information about his service that he wrote out at some point before he died (I can scan it and attach it to an e-mail if anyone is interested). The information regarding the crew he served with is as follows:

Pilot: George Watson
Co-Pilot: John Statts/ Later on a RCAF transfer Warrant Officer W.D. Peters
Bombardier: Ed Clemenzi
Radio Man: Bill Haga
Tail gunner: Jim Pogue
Navigator: Lt. Bridges

Thanks in advance for any further information.

Mike Parsley

Date:
1/31/2012
Time:
9:13 AM
 
It is an honor to write to you. My father died in 1992 at the age of 68 and despite a wonderful though too short life, his fondest memories were of his days in the air. He flew 57 missions during his time serving in the Air Corps. He was in the 444th Bombardment Group (M) and part of the 320th Bombardment Group (M). He was from Philadelphia PA and enlisted there and left there on Nov. 11, 1942. He trained as a gunner and eventually was a gunnery sergeant. I know he was at (Keesler?) Field in January of 1943. He was also at Barksdale Field in Louisiana at least by his pay stub directed to his mother. He was stationed out of Sardinia during the time he was fighting in the war. He flew 57 missions according to two articles in various public newspapers. He was probably discharged in 1944.

I am so proud of my Dad. He was always a hero to me, but when you read of all the other fine men who risked and lost their lives back then, and didn't think twice about serving their county, it is overwhelming.

If anyone knew or knows anything about my Dad please email me. I have pictures of his group etc. Also, if there is an official archive for all of these papers etc., I would like to contribute them. Thanks so much for letting me in your guest book.

With peace and respect,
Sherri Tunis

Date:
1/31/2012
Time:
3:16 AM
 
My father, Norbert A. Loyzelle, was in the 451st bomb squadron and died in 2003. I recently discovered I have his yearbook of the 451st and would like to send/donate it to some organization that will treat it as the piece of history it is! Any suggestions? Clare Loyzelle Hearn

Akron Marauder Archives

Date:
1/22/2012
Time:
4:13 PM
 
Hello. I am looking for info on a Lt. Victor T Honsa, 322nd Bomb Group, 452nd Bomb Squadron. I am pretty sure he was a navigator on a few different ships. I am most interested in knowing what ships he flew on but especially the one that was shot 11/28/44. I know Chester Strzalka was the pilot but did not survive. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Eric Tutskey

Date:
1/21/2012
Time:
12:26 PM
 
I am wondering if you can help me identify the aircraft and crew. The photos are of my Dad. He passed January 17, 2012 at age of 86.

Marauderman's Name: Joe Wawrzaszek
Bomb Group: unknown
Bomb Squadron: unknown
Years in service: unknown
Graduation Class: 1944? back of Plane photo
Class Location: Sheppard Field. Back of photo
Comments: Anything you can offer would be appreciated.

Very Truly Yours,
Ed Wawrzaszek

Date:
1/20/2012
Time:
10:52 AM
 
Hi, could you help find more info on my uncle? Joseph Mathias Bruck, his B26 MM went down over France I was told. I have his wings, and pictures and his first sole flight was in Acadia, Maine. Training in Bangor, Maine. He was buried in Farmington NJ, seven years later.

My mother, his sister, is 90 years young and we are trying to add info we can. My Dad also was an Army soldier who was disabled in WWII in Hawaii.

Blessings,
Diane

Hello Diane,
Your uncle served with the 552nd Bomb Squadron,386th Bomb Group based at Great Dunmow, Essex County, England. On the 9th of September 1943 B-26 41-34958 RG-F "Named Hazard" received a direct flak hit in the bomb bay just prior to bomb release, clouds of black smoke poured from the bomb bay which then exploded and the aircraft disintegrated from the rear of the plane just behind the wings. The crew that day was 1.Lt Stephen M Danforth,2.Lt Joseph W Bruck,2.Lt William J Coffey, Jr; Sgt Louis P McNeill; T/Sgt Jack E Whitehead and S/Sgt Joseph E Sanchez. Danforth, Bruck and Coffey were killed in the aircraft Whitehead was missing in action while McNeill and Sanchez became prisoners of war.

Regards Trevor Allen, historian, B26.com

Date:
1/9/2012
Time:
4:06 AM
 
Greetings,

It recently came to my attention that my name sake 1st Lt. Joseph C. Bostick was a pilot of the B-26 and also stationed in Laon. His plane was the "Louisiana MudHen". We are currently trying to obtain information on his service to our country. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Joseph C. Bostick was my great uncle on my mother's side. He was killed in action over Germany. Recently, my brother gave me a Christmas present of Uncle Joe's unclassified flight record which documented his final flight. Bizarrely enough, footage of my uncle's last thirty seconds of life can be seen on youtube [here]. I've been trying to track down information on my Uncle which brought me to the B26.com website. Getting into contact with someone who may have known him would be great. I'll work on getting the pictures to add a dedication page to the site. By the way, the video was taken from a History channel documentary on the Marauder. My Uncle is referenced by Manny Blumenthal and Fred Mingus in a book written about the Marauders and the Battle of the Bulge.  Any information on these two men is greatly appreciated.

My uncle is buried at the Jefferson Cemetery in Missouri. I believe he was shot down on December 23rd 1944. Crew:
Pilot 1/Lt. Joseph C. Bostick of Orleans Parish, LA
Co-Pilot 2/Lt. James P. Hodges of Buncombe County, NC
Bombardier 1/Lt. Howard Detel of Albany County, NY
Engineer-Gunner S/Sgt. Albin W. Les of Hampden County, MA
Radio-Gunner S/Sgt. Robert E. Hohimer of Los Angeles, CA
Armourer-Gunner S/Sgt. A. C. Carrell of Walker County, AL

Joseph Kuhner
 
Joseph, The MACR # is 11659, aircraft serial # is 41-31896. 1st LT Bostick and his entire crew were KIA. The video has been around a long long time and I see no problem with it as it is one of several films showing B-26's going down. This particular one was probably more spectacular. The video is a part of history, it is in the public domain and it a part of the Marauder Man legacy. Trevor Allen historian b26.com

***
Joseph,
My name is Roy Bozych and I am the historian for the 323rd Bomb Group.

Your name sake, 1st Lt. Joseph C. Bostick, was a pilot with the 453rd Squadron. This is one of four squadrons of the 323rd BG. The others are the 454th, 455th & 456th. If you go to this page on our website listed below it will give you a little history about the 323rd BG as well as show you the Squadron patches: http://www.323bg.org/history.html

Lt. Bostick and his entire crew were killed in action during the "Battle of the Bulge" on December 23, 1944. For all the Marauder Bomb Groups participating in missions that day , this was one of the worse day in their history for aircraft losses due to a combination of heavy FLAK and German fighters. The 323rd BG's target for that day was the Eller Railroad Bridge. Lt. Bostick was flying 41-31896 radio call sign VT-G named "Louisiana Mud Hen". It had a secondary name of "Circle Jerk". 41-31896 received a direct FLAK hit to the left engine as it approached the target, rolled over on it's back and crashed. Unfortunately because of this violent maneuver and the G forces it produced no one was able to get out of the plane.

I have attached a copy of their missing air crew report, MACR 11659. There is an eye witness report contained in it. Let me know if you have any questions.

Regards,
Roy R. Bozych
323rd BG Historian

Joseph, I remember your Uncle, he was a good man. John Moench

Date:
1/12/2012
Time:
10:46 AM
 
My Grandfather, Murray F. Landry, passed away January 8, 2012 and he served our great country for many years. He was in WWII. He flew 54 missions over Holland, Belgium, and Germany. He served as a radio operator, waist gunner, and photographer on a b-26 medium bomber. He received numerous awards, including the French Croix du Guerre as a member of the 394th Bomb Group, 586th Bomb Squadron. He retired from the military as a Colonel. Can you help me with any information about this great man and the great men who served with him. -Thanks, Ryan

Date:
1/11/2012
Time:
9:28 AM
 
Name: John Wesley Pletcher
Bomb Group: 17th BG
Bomb Squadron: 73rd BS
Years in Service: 40-Early 50s (Active) Reserves retired, date unknown
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class location: Primary, Glendale, CA. Basic, Randolph Field, TX. Advanced, Kelly Field, Graduated July 26, 1940

Doing research for a friend, the granddaughter of this amazing aviator.. Lieutenant Pletcher flew B-18s, then transitioned to B-26s. He was originally attached to the 17th Bomb Group, 73rd Bombardment Squadron. His unit detached from the 17th BG in the spring of 1941 and sent to Alaska, flying B-18s. Once there they joined the 36th BS. He flew anti-shipping missions. His aircraft was modified by removing the bombardier and navigator positions in the nose and installing two .50 caliber machine guns and two 20 millimeter cannons.

On November 26, 1942, Pletcher participated in the attack on the Cherryboune Maru offloading cargo in Holtz Bay, Attu Island. Capt Pletcher led a a four ship flight of B-26s accompanied by four P-38s from the 54th Fighter Squadron.

I can scan some pictures and send them to you. I am a huge WWII buff, especially Air Force history as I am a retired Master Sergeant. In an 11th Air Force Association newsletter. Pletcher is quoted as saying his checkout consisted of four touch and goes in the traffic patterns and a crew familiarization flight. Surprising for such a high performance bomber. He'd flown B-18s prior to that and stated the landing speed for the B-26 was 100 mph faster.

Any further information, especially photos of Pletcher, his crew, and plane would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Louis Cirillo

Date:
1/9/2012
Time:
12:41 PM
 
I am the base historian/archaeologist (Cultural Resource Manager) at Avon Park Air Force Range. We began as a bombing range in WWII. I am writing up the history of the range for our 75th anniversary which is just around the corner. I am looking for anyone who trained here, or was stationed here from 1941 to 1945. I would like to interview them and see if they had any pictures of the base, or their B26 that they would like to share.

For example, addressing the often repeated statement that members of the Truman Committee visited Avon Park and found three freshly crashed and burning Martin B-26s and the "One a Day in Tampa Bay" myth, here's something to think about.

I have tracked down the crash sites and read the reports. One of my goals is to document every crash site on this base. This is my humble opinion:

To state that there were burning Marauders on the field you only have to look at the crash records to debunk their propaganda. First, there wasn't any crashes that involved three planes, second there weren't any single crashes of three planes on the same day and third do you really think they are going to allow a single plane, let alone three planes to sit there and burn. Of course not! They had the equipment (I have the pictures!) to put those fires out and reach them no matter where they crashed. If they did continue to burn it was demoralizing to the entire base! Also they couldn't get to the bodies, the bombs could explode, and the fuel tanks could explode. If the "burning" planes were within sight of the airfield that meant they were within reach of the ordnance area which was 3,866 feet from the runway.

Crash protocol says get the bodies, bombs and guns! At that time they were salvaging parts of crashed ships like marauding pirates! There were many crashes where people survived! That meant they had to get there fast! This saying came from the Tampa paper and their idiotic "One a Day in Tampa Bay!". The saying "One every few weeks in Tampa Bay" was not a catchy phrase.

Thank you,
Kathy Couturier
Cultural Resources Manager, Archaeologist
Avon Park Air Force Range

Date:
1/9/2012
Time:
10:13 AM
 
My father, John Reynolds Stokes, was a b26 pilot with the 344th Bomb Group, 496th Bomb Squadron. He died on Jan 5, 2001. Here's a photo of my father (second from left) with his crew. Harry August (far left), Cletus Wray (4th from left) and John Guiher (far right). The guy in the middle is the pilot who spotted them. I've attached a copy of a local news story - Adrift At Sea [pdf]- about the events surrounding the photo. -Thanks, John Stokes Jr.
 
[large image]

Date:
1/5/2012
Time:
6:24 AM
 
Pilot Ambrose J. Riley, 320th Bomb Group, 441st Bomb Squadron. He was shot down over Italy and was a prisoner of war at Stalag 3. After the war he became a firefighter for the Rochester MN Fire Department. Unfortunately, on December 23, 1954 he died on duty trying to save a young boy who had fallen through the ice. Here is a historical account of that incident:

The story of the rescue attempt of nine year old John Paul Stephenson as adapted from the Department’s History Book:

The first out engine was called “Squad 1”. It was staffed by five firefighters—George Davis the captain, Ambrose Riley the motor operator, Stanley O’Brien, Charlie Hayes and Lyle Gardner firefighters. The three firefighters rode the tailboard of the engine.

Squad One saw the child out in the water within 200 feet of the north shore. He was struggling to stay afloat and trying to get back up on the edge of the ice. The hypothermia that comes with cold water immersion was already affecting him.

The turnout gear of the day was a fiberglass Mine Safety Appliances black helmet, a heavy weight cotton duck canvas-like turn out coat with a thick wool liner, and thigh-high black rubber firefighter’s boots.

Riley and O’Brien using the era’s best techniques and equipment grabbed a 14’ roof ladder and a pike pole. Hayes grabbed a rope while the other two brought the 24’ extension ladder.

O’Brien slid the ladder out on the ice ahead of himself to distribute his weight across the ice. Upon reaching the open water with the tip, he moved out to hook the child’s clothing with the pike pole.

Riley joined O’Brien on the ladder, but the additional weight caused the ladder and firefighters to break through the ice, plunging them into the icy water.

Davis, Gardner, and Hayes tried to get to the three trapped in the water by using the extension ladder on the ice. The ice had no stability and all three of these rescuers broke through the ice into waist deep water. Hayes tried a number of times to throw the 1” diameter hemp rescue rope to Riley and O’Brien, but the water logged rope was too heavy to fly. They tried repeatedly to get to Riley and O’Brien. These three also would have perished had they not been ordered out of the water and pulled into a boat.

Neighbors and other rescuers took boats and a canoe from nearby homes and started working their way out to the open water. Movement was agonizingly slow as the boats and canoe had to fight the ice to make forward progress.

Riley and O’Brien tried to keep the child on a piece of wood that was floating in the open water, but the child was rapidly losing consciousness. The cold water was taking its toll on Riley and O’Brien at the same time their heavy turnout gear made all the heavier after soaking up many times its weight in water. The weight of their gear was consuming every bit of energy they had to keep their heads above water.

By the time rescuers made it to the open water, Riley, O’Brien and the child had slipped below the surface. The firefighters were pulled from the water within twenty minutes and the boy was found forty five minutes later. Despite heroic resuscitation efforts, all three perished.

Fire Chief Greg K. Martin
Rochester Fire Department

Date:
1/3/2012
Time:
2:08 PM
 
If the written history you read is not the portrayal of facts, it has to be fiction – and fiction is not history.

Along with other serious B-26 Marauder historians, I have devoted decades to the study and correction of the Martin B-26 Marauder history. With regret, many of you who read B-26 Marauder history, articles, and newsletters, or who view documentaries are being exposed to a high degree of fiction rather than history and fact. The extent to which B-26 Marauder history has been distorted to say what it was not is enormous.

Those persons who you recognize as serious B-26 Marauder historians have spent decades correcting the historical record of the B-26 Marauder. But the truth is that errors in this history continue to materialize. Many of these historical errors were first developed in the 1940s. Some of these 1940ish historical errors have continued to be repeated and have been promoted and advanced in recent years, some are now newborn garbage. Because not everyone can detect what is a historical error, many who read this have been guilty of advancing these errors by repeating them to others. [read more]
 
Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret)

Date:
1/1/2012
Time:
6:33 PM
 
Follow up story to one first posted in 2003 from descendant of Ray Pitre crewmate of Mr. Peale. The incident is documented here by Portuguese researcher, Carlos Guerreiro, here. Dedication page for Robert J. Peale updated today.

Date:
1/1/2012
Time:
7:24 AM
 
My step-father, Adam Toth, seldom talked about the war. He was shot down near Caen, France, captured and later escaped and made it safely home.

Adam Toth Jr.
394 BGp
587 Bomb Sq
Eng Gunner Stationed Boreham, England
Crew: Pilot 2nd Lt William R Nielson, 2Lt Donald Damer, Co-Pilot, SSGT Adam Toth, Sgt Jack King, Sgt Elmer Fellhauer-Waist Gunner, SSgt Grevaise F Jarmer, tail gunner. Fellhauer, Jarmer and Toth survived as POW's. Toth escaped, Fellhauer and Jarmer were liberated after the war. All others were KIA.

The inquiry was from Don Copple, posted 12/10/2010. His great Uncle was Donald Damer. He wanted photos of crewman, the Hannibal Hoops aircraft. He would like to see any info. I am enclosing a picture Adam Toth.



Thanks for your help.
Patti Morris

Date:
1/1/2012
Time:
7:10 AM
 
My grandfather, Frank Karidis, was a Bombardier in a B-26, and served in North Africa and the MTO (320th BG, 443rd Squadron). I've been transcribing the letters that he and my grandmother wrote to each other during the War, and I've come across something I hope you'll be able to shed some light on. He mentions one of the planes he flew in, "El Toro", which was piloted by a man by the name of J.N. Luttrell. The mission reports that I have show that Luttrell flew in a plane with tail number 871. I'm not certain if that plane is "El Toro", mostly because from what I can tell by these mission reports, the men were switched from crew to crew on a pretty frequent basis. At any rate, is there any way you can confirm the tail number with the name of the plane? Do you have any photos of "El Toro"? Any information you may be able to provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Andy Finley
 
Andy,
In the letters referring to Frank flying in 871 do you have a date, this could, if correct, fit 871 in to "El Toro"
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
1/1/2012
Time:
6:55 AM
 
Good morning,

I am trying to put together some information about my grandfather James Foster. He was in the 391st BG 572 BS from late in 1944 until march 19th of 1945 when he was transferred to the 397th BG 596 BS for the remainder of the European war as far as I can tell. I am in the process of scanning close to 300 letters that he sent home through the war. I have attached a picture that was in one of the letter of him flying, he said "Joe took a picture of me flying today, we fly pretty close". that was on Sept 12, 1945. I was wondering how I might go about finding more information about him through your website. Also I was wondering how I would submit copies of some of the letters and picture to you? Thanks for hosting a good website and I look forward to talking to you soon.

[large image]

Respectfully,
Andrew Foster

Date:
1/1/2012
Time:
12:01 AM
 
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